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STERN RECKONING 

A Survey of the Events leading up to and 
following the Partition of India 


by 

GOPAL DAS KHOSLA 

Barristcr-at-Law 

Puisne Judge, East Punjab High Court 


MORTAL Prudence, handmaid of divine Providence, 
hath inscrutable reckoning with Fate and Fortune 
We sail a changeful sea through halcyon days and storm, 
and when the ship laboureth, our stedfast purpose 
trembles hke as the compass in a binnacle 
Our stability is but balance, and wisdom lies 
in masterful administration of the unforeseen 

Robert Bridges — Testament of Beauty 




CONTENTS 


FOREWORD ° u 

CHAPTER I— The Parting of the Ways 1 

CHAPTER II— Direct Action Day and After 39 

CHAPTER III — The Punjab . r 37 

Lahore District 120 

Sheikhupura „ 12g 

Sialkot „ 141 

Gujranwala „ 149 

Gujrat „ 153 

Montgomery „ 160 

Lyalfpur „ 1 65 

Shahpur „ 172 

Jhang „ 177 

Multan ,, 184 

Muzaffargarh „ 191 

Rawalpindi ,, 196 

Jhelum „ 199 

Altock „ 201 

Mianwali „ 204 

Dera Ghazi Khan ,, 208 

Bahawalpur State 212 

CHAPTER IV— Exodus 217 

CHAPTER V— Sind 235 

CHAPTER VI— North-West Frontier’Province . .. .255 

CHAPTER VII— Retaliation , 275 

CHAPTER vm— C onclusion . . 293 

APPENDIX I— Notes to Chapters . 301 

APPENDIX II— Tables and Statements 3 1 9 

BIBLIOGRAPHY . .. 351 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 


Facing page 


Kasera Bazar, Lahore, a purely Hindu locality 101 

The effect of arson in a street in Amritsar 103 

The house of Seth Kalyan Das at Multan after it was demo- 
lished by lire 105 

The destruction of Bewal, District Rawalpindi 109 

The interior of the Sikh Gurdwara at Dubheran after the riots 1 10 

Shahatmi Gate, Lahore, after the fire and rioting in June 121 

The destruction wrought in Shahalmi Gate, Lahore 122 

The destruction of non-Muslim houses and shops m Mozang, 

Lahore {two illustrations') ' 124 

The massacre of non-Muslims at Kamoke Railway Station 

{two illustrations) . 152 

A tram of non-Muslim refugees from West Punjab 223 

A street in Dera Tsmail Khan 267 




FOREWORD 


In the history of communal relations, the years 1946-47 
mark a period of unequalled mistrust, acerbity and frenzied war- 
fare m almost all parts of India Tension between the Muslim 
and non-Muslim communities increased till the cords that bound 
them together snapped and flung them apart — it seemed for ever 
Came the horrors of Calcutta, Noakhah, Bihar and, after a brief 
interval, the tragic events enacted m the Punjab, North-West 
Frontier Province and Sind - Large numbers of Hmdus left 
Calcutta and Noakhah to seek shelter m Bihar and other parts 
of India A similar exodus of Muslims from Bihar was witnessed 
m October 1946 In March 1947 several parts of West Punjab 
were ablaze and nearly half a million Hmdus and Sikhs abandoned 
their homes and migrated to the eastern distncts They brought 
harrowmg tales of murder, rapine, arson and wholesale destruc- 
tion of property Every item of news added to the wrath and 
horror of the non-Muslims m India and exacerbated still further 
the bitterness between the two communities Retaliation followed 
and durmg the five months August-December 1947, the provinces 
of East and West Punjab, the North-West Frontier Provmce and 
Sind were convulsed with the pangs of a terrible fratricidal war 
And while killing, burnmg and looting were taking place every- 
where, a two-way mass movement of the population added to the 
confusion The Muslims were travelling westward to Pakistan 
and the non-Muslims were leavmg Pakistan for India 

Millions of Hindus and Sikhs, forced to leave their homes and 
migrate eastward, arrived on the soil of the newly bom Dominion 
of India Every one of them had a grim tale to tell Some of the 
stones related by the refugees were, no doubt, exaggerated , the 
newspaper reports were not always accurate , but the total denial 
of these happenings by the Government of Pakistan was hardly 
calculated to appease the nsing temper of the Indian people It 
was necessary that a true and authoritative account of the 
happenings in West Punjab, the North-West Frontier Provmce 
and Smd should be available for the future student of History and, 
to this end, the Government of India set up a Fact Finding 
Organization m the beginning of 1948 This Organization 
examined thousands of refugees and recorded their statements 
Every attempt was made to achieve accuracy and check the 
veracity of the witnesses Many of them were apt to magnify 



Foreword 


vui 

their tuffennfis and losses and inflate the figures of casualties. A 
scaling down of numbers was necessary and much of the evidence 
had to be rejected for no other reason than that it lacked 
corroboration. After a careful and detailed study of the evidence 
to collected the narrative set out m these pages was prepared. 

This book is intended to give the reader a survey of the 
events leading up to the partition of India and an account of the 
widespread disturbances which took place in the Punjab North 
West Frontier Province and Sind during the year 1947 In the 
tirst chapter an attempt has been made to analyse the facts and 
slate the causes which led the Muslim League to make a demand 
for parti uon The second chapter contains an account of the riots 
in Calcutta, East Bengal and Bihar during the second half of 1946 
Chapters Three Four and Seven deal with the Punjab disturbances 
and Chapters Five and Six are devoted to the events in Sind and 
the North West Frontier Province respectively Chapters Three to 
Six arc based on the material collected by the Fact Finding 
Organization For the material of Chapter Two the writer is 
indebted to various official and unofficial reports, the accuracy of 
which is beyond suspicion. In compiling Chapter Seven the writer 
had to rely mainly on newspaper rcjiorts and some official 
documents which however did not give a complete account of 
what happened. This was inevitable in the nature of things as 
first hand evidence of these events was not available. Exaggerated 
accounts of the atrocities perpetrated in East Punjab have been pub- 
lished m Pakistan some of these emanated from official sources 
It is not the purpose of this book to answer the charges contained 
in these reports nor is it intended that the account given here 
should be used as propaganda The sole aim ol the writer has been 
to give a true and objective narrative which would serve as a 
historical record for the future 

The tables m Appendix TI have been compiled from the 
evidence of witnesses. Only some selected instances from a 
number of villages in each district have been given. Care has been 
cxcrcncd in selecting the various Items and any Incident which 
appeared to be doubtful or exaggerated has been studiously 
excluded 

_ The wnter is deeply indebted to a number of friends who have 
read these pages and have made many helpful suggestions. 



I 



Between man and other animal* there are variant 
difference*, some intellectual, tome emotional One of 
the chie/ emotional difference* f* that some hitman 
aetiret unilfce Ihote of animal* are essentially boundless 
and incapable of complete *ati*/actioru 

Imagination i* the goad that forces human beings 
into restless exertion after their primary need* hart 
been satisfied. 

To tho*e who haoe but little of power and glory it 
may *eem that a little more would xtttUfy them but in 
thi* they are mistaken the*e de*ires are in*atiable and 
in/lnite and only in the infinitude of God could they 
find repose 

Of the in/lnite de*ire* of man the Chief are the 
de*ire* for power and glory 


Bertrajtd BuMell — Power 



CHAPTER ONE 

THE PARTING OF THE WAYS 

The great upheaval which shook India from one end to the 
other during a period of about fifteen months commencing with 
August 16, 1946. was an event of unprecedented magnitude and 
horror History has not known a fratricidal war of such dimensions 
in which human hatred and bestial passions were degraded to the 
levels witnessed during this dark epoch when religious frenzy, 
taking the shape of a hideous monster, stalked through cities, 
towns and countryside, taking a toll of half a million innocent 
lives Decrepit old men, defenceless women, helpless young 
children, infants m arms, by the thousand, were brutally done to 
death by Muslim, Hindu and Sikh fanatics Destruction and 
looting of property, kidnapping and ravishing of women, unspeak- 
able atrocities and indescribable inhumanities were perpetrated in 
the name of religion and patriotism To be a Hindu, Sikh or a 
Muslim became a crime punishable with death Madness swept 
over the entire land, m an ever-increasing crescendo, till reason 
and sanity left the minds of rational men and women, and sorrow, 
misery, hatred, despair took possession of their souls A Sikh or 
a Hindu dared not show his face in the place where he and his 
forefathers had lived for centuries, and a Muslim was forced to 
abandon his native soil, his home and his property 

Yet for over a thousand years the various communities had 
lived together in peace and amity United India had a population 
of 389 million (1941) comprising 255 million Hindus (including 
members of Scheduled Castes), 92 million Muslims, 6 3 million 
Christians, 5 6 million Sikhs and a number of smaller communities 
There were Muslim majority areas (m the North-East and the 
North-West) and Hmdu majority areas, but no part of India was 
exclusively inhabited by any one community Everywhere Hindus, 
Muslims and Sikhs lived together as neighbours In the urban 
areas the various communities could not, m the very nature of 
things, live in separate airtight compartments There were, no 
doubt, Hindu mohallas, Sikh mohallas and Muslim mohallas, but 
these were situated side by side and it could not be said of any 
town in India that it was owned or mhabited by one community 
or that any particular area of the town belonged exclusively to the 
Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs In the provinces of the Punjab, Sind 



4 


Stern Reckoning 


and Be ^ai at least even the rural population was of a mixed 
char 1 ’ c 1 1 ere were Hindu villages Muslim villages and Sikh 
villager h.‘ 11 three communities were to be found in greater ot 
^mailer numbers in every village Hindu and Sikh landlords had 
Muslim tenants and knmins * Muslim landlords had Hindu tenants 
and employed Hindus as managers and accountants. Hindu 
industrialists in towns and factories had Muslim workers. Religion 
had never interfered with social relations to any great extent The 
unifying foice of geographical entity historical and cultural 
influences extending over a period of ten centimes, bad welded 
lb is cl ments into a homogeneous whole This was scarcely 
si i *h n fnr more than 90 per cent of the Muslim and Sikh 
pop uc ti consisted of converts from Hinduism and belonged to 
rh'* ju l stock and had the same traditions as the Hindus. The 
uinv* in many cases retained even the old religious ceremonies 
they differed but little in appearance or dress and behaved as 
members of the same society This was particularly true of the 
rural areas. There had no doubt, been occasional clashes between 
the communities but these were sporadic, and very short lived 
The direct cause was almost invariably an economic or political 
disturbance rather than the religious factor Riots usually 
occurred among the lower classes and the communal tension 
among them was spasmodic though when it occurred it took 
an intense form The peasant rising around Calcutta in 1831 was 
hardly a communal riot The peasants broke into the houses of 
Muslim and Hindu landlords with perfect impartiality The 
Mvmen singh disturbance of May 1907 was really nothing more 
than the rising of the Muslim peasantry against their Hindu 
landlords and creditors. They would probably have risen with 
the same feroetty had the landlords and creditors been Muslims. 
The Mopla Revolt which n often quoted as one of the worst 
communal disturbances and which was exploited by the Bn'ish 
Government to their great profit was also a rising of the oppressed 
and poverty stricken peasants. The Bombay riots of 1929 were 
riots between the mill workers who went on strike and the Pathan 
strikebreakers. Riots in the Punjab were seldom handled with tact 
or imagination, and the indifference or incompetence of British 
officials m dealing with communal disturbances was frequently 
ascribed to the policy of Divide and Rule Minor difference* in 

V Tltl ■mUH libovtn ta dnrK erf nril orahe. om w in . 

^* mt - r«*r*, ulton, r*. 



The Parting of the Ways 


5 


custom and outlook never stood m the way of the various com- 
munities living together m the most amicable and friendly manner 
Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs used to meet each other on terms of 
equality They dined * at each other’s houses and seldom allowed 
their religious persuasions to interfere with their social and friendly 
intercourse In the United Provinces the relations between the 
Hindus and Muslims were extremely cordial Muslims went to 
play Hoh with their Hindu friends while Hindus always went to 
their Muslim friends on the occasion of the Id festival 

The riots were confined mostly to the urban areas The rural 
population, which comprises nearly 90 per cent of the total 
population of India, has always remained peaceful Louis Fischer, 
in his book, “ A Week with Gandhi,” refers to this circumstance! 
which was also observed by the Simon Indian Statutory 
Commission, who presented a report to the Viceroy in May 1930 % 
This neighbourly feeling rose on occasions to emotional heights, 
such as during the days of the Khilafat movement when Hindus 
and Muslims could be seen eating together and drinking from the 
same bowl Even m the North-West Frontier Province the turbulent 
and fanatic Pathan lived on terms of friendship with his Hindu 
neighbour Their relations were free from suspicion, bitterness, 
or any kind of hostility on grounds of religion Unity in variety 
has been insisted upon as a peculiar characteristic of India This 
was not a piece of wishful thinking but a true statement of the 
actual state of affairs — a statement reiterated by those who saw 
that the destructive forces of disruption were beginnmg to appear 
m some places 

These disruptive and separatist tendencies had then- origin in 
a movement of national revival which took place during the 
nineteenth century by way of a moral defence against British 
domination The impact of Western thought and civilization m 


* This is naturally not true of the very orthodox Hindus who never dine outside the narrow 
limits oE their caste and would retuse to eat from the hands of an outsider Hindu or Muslim 

f Caroe (the Viceroy’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs who worked for many years as a 
British official in the Punjab) and Jenkins (a high British official in the Department of 
Supplies) , I said told me that there were no communal differences in the villages and 
X heard from others too that the relations between the two religious communities are 
peaceful in the villages If that is so that is very important because India is ninety 
per cent village ’ 

| There is among the Hindu minority in Sind a feeling that the independence of the 
(British) Commissioner is too great while on the Mabomcdan side there is a well-Jcrown 
cry for scparauon from Bombay This demand has gathered strength not so much in the homes 
of the people or among the Mahomcdan cultivators of Sind as among the leaders of 
Mahometan thought all over India to whom the idea of a new Muslim Province contiguous 
to the predominantly Muslim areas of Baluchistan the North-West Frontier Province and 
the Punjab naturally appea’s as offering a stronghold against the fear of Hi”du domination ’ 



6 


Stem Reckoning 


the first half of the nineteenth century led to an awakening of 
political consciousness and a sense of frustration in the face of 
British imperialism In the desire to re capture self-esteem the 
Indian mind harked back to the ancient Hindu and Muslim cultures. 
The Hindu mind sought solace in the memory of the Golden Age 
of Hindu imperialism and the Vedas. The founding of the Brahmo 
Samaj by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828 of the Arya Samaj by 
Swarm Daya Nand m 1875 th^revival of Shivaji s cult in the 
Maharashtra and the anti-cow killing campaign by Bal Gangadhar 
Tilak marked the vanous steps m the Hindu revivalist movement 
The Hindu mind in trying to rehabilitate its lost pndc sought an 
escape in glorifying its ancient achievements towards -^vhich the 
Muslims had made no contribution, and Hindu revivalism, there 
fore took a religious and communal form. By a similar psycho- 
logical process the Muslims took their minds back to the glory of 
the Prophet the Khilafat and the Muslim conquest of the countries 
around the Mediterranean These trends found expression in the 
Wahabi movement the activities of Syed Ahmad of Rae Bareli 
and the Mutiny of 1857 in which Hindus and Musing made 
common cause against the foreign oppressor It is to be observed 
that these revivalist tendencies were fajnt and hardly noticeable 
until the latter half of the nineteenth century when the differences 
between the Hindu and Muslim thought began to get more and 
more pronounced Thus h was that by a most unfortunate process 
of human psychology the mental defences raised against foreign 
domination and barriers intended to restore self-esteem and moral 
rehabilitation became fissiparous tendencies As the revivalist 
movement gathered force, its momentum earned it beyond the 
limits of safety and sanity The buffers of reason proved quite 
inadequate to arrest this emotional rush and before the end of the 
nineteenth century signs of mutual suspicion and antagonism had 
begun to appear with disturbing frequency Hindus and Muslims 
began to assert themselves as separate entities by withdrawing 
themselves from each other s festivals, by wearing different dress, 
observing distinctive manners/ and by each demanding a separate 
language and educational institutions- Hindu culture and Muslim 
culture were now mentioned as distinct and irreconcilable 
conceptions. 

There arose a desire for power for communal supremacy and 
for the assertion of Hindu rule and Muslim rule The lengths to 
which the respective protagonists carried their logic was amazing. 







The Parting oj the Ways 


9 


litcrailv and politically meant that India was the domain of only 
Caste Hmdooism and Caste Hindoos . It was a menace because 
it was being systematically exploited by Indians (Caste Hindoos) to 
‘lndiani7c' the non-Indians and to make them nationally honourless, 
rightlcss and futurelcss in the lands of their birth ” The intro- 
duction of democratic institutions involving the counting of heads 
raised the hopes of the Hindus and shattered the dreams of Muslim 
domination A feeling of frustration grew and the Muslim mind 
began to show signs of a fear complex and an obsession which 
was used to stir up hatred of everything Hindu It was said that 
with a Hindu majority government in power 

“ Nothing will be left undone to crush the Islamic spirit and 
distinctions destroy the Muslim moral and social fabric, the 
education and training of future generations and alter the entire 
phase of Islamic life, e g , a law may be made that if a Muslim 
girl marries a non-Muslim the union will be taken as valid Even 
forced marriages will obviously be presumed, or, decided to be, 
voluntary, with non-Muslim Judges to decide such cases Urdu 
may be replaced by Hindi as lingua fianca for India Conversion 
to Islam, use of beef for food, or sacrifice, uttering a call for 
prayer, resentment to noise before mosques at prayer time, teaching 
or propagating the Holy Quran, building up of mosques and a 
hundred other Muslim customs and traditions may be stopped by 
legislation , and they will h3Ve power to execute such laws ”* 

These effusions, though not authoritative utterances, are fairly 
representative of the channels in which extremist thought was 
running ^ 

The differences between the communities were accentuated and 
magnified by economic factors, commercial competition and pro- 
fessional rivalry The Muslims did not, as eagerly as the Hindus, 
take to Western education and *W estem culture In the race for 
employment in Government service and the hberal professions, 
they started late and the initial handicap persisted After 
the Mutiny of 1857 the British Government adopted a 
policy of repression against the Muslim upper and middle 
classes on the ground that they were responsible for the 
Mutiny Sir Sayed Ahmad saw the dangerous conse- 
quences of this line of action and realized that the salvation 
of Muslims could only be achieved by the spread of Western 


•SNA Qadri — ’ A Muslim’s Inner Voice ” 


2 



10 


Stern Reckoning 


1 arnmg among them and by their unqualified loyalty to the British 
rule. He repelled the suggestion that the Muslims were anti British 
or that the Mutiny was an attempt to restore Moghul rule in India. 
An essav written by him m 1858 in which he had urged the policy 
of divide and rule was resuscitated from oblivion and published 
in an English translation m 1873 He exhorted the Muslims to 
embrace Western culture and study modem science. The 
Mehomraedan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh was founded and 
rhe European Principals of this College played an important part 
in leading the Muslim agitation for preferential treatment in 
Government posts and the bourgeois professions. During his 
later years. Sir Sayed began to evince an obsession of Hindu 
domination The demands for greater Muslim representation 
increased with the realization that official position and participation 
in the administrative machinery brought power and prestige 

In the business and industrial spheres the non Muslims had 
obtained an initial advantage which increased and multiplied 
rapidly Commercial activity first came to India in parts where 
the Muslim influence was least In Bombay Madras and Calcutta 
the main centres of the East India Company activities, the non 
Muslims were in a majority and their intellectual and financial 
resources enabled them to forge ahead and leave the Muslims 
behind. The most important businesses and industries were captured 
by them and the Muslims felt that they had irretrievably lost the 
position of supremacy once held by them There was constant 
harping on the theme that they had been relegated to the status 
of drawers of water and hewers of wood. The Hindus were 
accused of exploiting and impoverishing the Muslims This agi 
tation was conducted solely by the Muslim middle classes for the 
peasantry (which forms the bulk of the Hindu and Muslim popu 
lation) had do such grievances and, it was only among the bourgeois 
elements that separatist tendencies were most noticeable In 
the demand for Pakistan the Muslim officials and the Muslim 
commercial interests raised the loudest voice. The Muslim writers 
and politicians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries 
were for the most port drawn from the class of Government 
servants. Sir Sayed Ahmad Khan was for a time an Additional 
Member of the Governor-General s Council and served on a 
number of Government Commissions. Chiragh Ali, Professor 
Salah ud Dm khuda Bakhsh of Calcutta Abdulla Yiuaf All whose 
writings to a considerable extent shaped the modernist movement 



The Parting of the Ways 


11 


In Islamic thought were all Government servants When Pakistan 
became a realizable dream and the partition of India was imminent, 
Muslim officials and administrators played a very important 
part m shapmg the course of events and precipitating the disastrous 
results that followed 

These differences were observed by the British Government 
and exploited m order to further their imperialistic aims m the 
country As early as 1843 the Governor-General, Lord Ellen- 
borough, wrote, “ I cannot close my eyes to the belief that that 
race (the Muslims) is fundamentally hostile to us and our true 
policy is to conciliate the Hindus ” Mountstuart Elphmstone 
advised “ Divide et Impera was the old Roman motto and it should 
be ours ” It has been already observed that after the Mutmy of 
1857 a determined attempt was made to suppress the Muslims. 
This was soon carried to dangerous limits and a British official, 
W W Hunter, pointed out that the Muslim population was bemg 
shut out from official employ and from the recogmzed professions 
He also drew attention to the British spoliation and extermination 
of the old Muslim educational system This was a reference to the 
resumption of rent-free grants of land made by the Muslim rulers 
m Bengal The grantees were responsible for financing a large 
number of Muslim educational institutions With the establish- 
ment and progress of the Indian National Congress the pendulum 
of British favouritism swung m the opposite direction, and means 
were sought to provide a counterpoise to Congress aims Lord 
Curzon brought about the partition of Bengal m order to “ shatter 
the unity and to disintegrate the feeling of solidarity ” m the 
province This fostered the growth of Mahommedan power in 
Eastern Bengal by way of a check to the rapidly growing strength 
of the Hindu community The events which culminated m the 
founding of the Muslim League and the introduction of separate 
electorates in 1909 make instructive reading In the winter of 
1905-06 -the Prince of Wales (afterwards King George V) made 
a tour of India On his return to England he told Lord Morley, 
the Secretary of State for India, that the National Congress was 
rapidly becoming a great power On May 11, 1906, Lord Morley 
wrote to the Viceroy, Lord Mmto, and drew his attention to what 
the Prince of Wales had observed A week later Lord Mmto 
replied, “ I have been thinking a good deal lately of a possible 
counterpoise to Congress aims” He suggested a Council of 
Princes of the native Rulers and a few other important persons 



12 


Stern Reckoning 


He added. Subjects for discussion and procedure would have to 
c ve~\ carefully thought out but we should get different ideas 
f *n tho^e of the Congress.” On June 19 1906 Lord Morley 
i i i wrote to Lord Minto and warned him that “ before long 
T fu lims will throw in their lot with Congressmen against you.” 
Mr Archbold Principal Aligarh College now took a hand and 
hjd d talk with the Private Secretary to the Viceroy On August 
10 1906 Mr Archbold wrote to Nawab Mohsin ul Mulk a letter 
m whiJi be suggested that a deputation of Muslims should wait 
upon the \ tceroy and ask for cert am concessions.* Mr Archbold 
\ a inxious that his own name should “ remain behind the 
rcen On October 1 1906 a Muslim delegation led by His 
H glmess the Aga Khan waited on the Viceroy and presented an 
addres3 Lord Minto in his reply conceded the Muslim demands, 
t c said M Your address, as I understand it, is a claim that, in any 
system of representation whether it affects a Municipality a 
District Board or Legislative Council in which it is proposed to 
introduce or increase an electoral orgamration the Mahommedan 
community should be represented as a community I am 
entirely in accoid with you I am as firmly convinced as I 
believe you to be, that any electoral representation m India would 
be doomed to mischievous failure vrhich aimed at granting a 
personal enfranchisement, regardless of the beliefs and traditions 
of communities composing the population of this continent. The 
gratification of Lord Minto and Lady Mmto at the successful 
conclusion of this episode was recorded in Lady Mmto s Diary t 
An official wrote to her commenting on her husband s work of 
statesmanship “ It is nothing less,” he said, “ than the pulling 
back of 62 millions of people from joining the ranks of the seditious 
opposition ” The same year the All India Muslim Conference 
which subsequently became the All India Muslim League was 
founded. 

The Minto-Morley Reforms of 1909 introduced separate 
electorates and erected a formidable and impregnable barrier 
between the two major communities of India. Hindus and 
Muslims henceforth began to have distinct and antagonistic 
political aspirations Each community felt little need of canvassing 
the support of the other community The electorate was divided 
into watertight compartments and in each compartment communal 


roc Cm of the lcr*cr tec 1— Note QD to Ctaptcr L 

t S« Arrt*Ji I— Noce am to Ctarw I 



The Pm ting of the Ways 


13 


ferment and communal hostility increased A Muslim candidate’s 
appeal was formulated only for the Muslim electorate and this had 
the inevitable result of putting extremist views at a premium 
Sectional opinion was thus promoted, at the cost of pubhc opinion, 
and the interests of the nation were sacrificed to the interests of 
the community The poison introduced m 1909 mcreased and 
spread throughout the body politic as the franchise was enlarged 
In 1909 the electorate numbered only about a million It was 
mcreased in 1919 to more than seven millions and by the Govern- 
ment of India Act of 1935 more than thirty-six million voters were 
created, every one of whom thought, spoke and acted on communal 
lines 

Employment in Government service, entry to educational and 
professional institutions were fixed on communal basis Com- 
munal-minded people, both Hindu and Muslim, were encouraged 
by being awarded high positions and titles,* while people who 
worked for inter-communal harmony were m danger of imprison- 
ment Press censorship was worked on a preferential basis 
No restrictions were placed on Muslim papers that advocated 
murder for apostasy The British press repeatedly attempted to 
stir up communal discord in nationalistic movements, eg, by 
insinuating that Khudai Khidmatgars were anti-Hmdu rather than 
anti-British More room was given m London papers to communal 
questions and very little to nationalist ones Nationalist Muslims 
hardly ever found mention m these papers The split between 
the communities was gradually widened and, by carefully calculated 
and judiciously delivered blows, the wedge was driven in deeper 
on every possible occasion The Muslim personnel of the Round 
Table Conference of 1930 and the subsequent Conferences was 
chosen out of the most communal Muslims Mian Fazl-i-Husain 
who was a Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council advised 
in the choice of the Muslim delegates and the names of nationahst- 
mmded Muslims were removed from the list of nommees When 
it was found that Mr Jinnah did not support all the communal 
demands at the first Round Table Conference, no invitation was 
issued to him for the subsequent Conferences Later, when he 
changed his views, he was accepted as a leader of all Muslims 
m spite of the fact that he represented only a small minority of 
them The case of forty-five million Momms, the Khudai 

* A study of the list of title holders will indicate the extent to which communal-minded 
Individuals Hindus Muslims and Sikhs were encouraced and rewarded for their anti- 
nationalist activities 



14 


Stem Reckoning 


Khidmatgars the Kbaksars, the Ahrar Party the Mansooris and 
a. number of other Muslim bodies wbo opposed Mr Jmnah the 
Mulm League and Pakistan, was never considered The Com 
munal Award of 1932 which conceded almost all the demands of 
be Muslims was a cunning device to perpetuate the Hindu Muslim 
ufferences. 

The framers of the British imperialist policy at the top were 
dbl) assisted by the local administrators and officials. All possible 
means were adopted to maintain the strength of the British hold 
on India. Riots were encouraged and m some cases initiated 
The peaceful and non violent nationalist movement was ruthlessly 
suppressed The uprising of the Mopla tenants against their land 
lords was utilized to spread disaffection among the two com 
n unities. The Moplas had committed certain atrocities against 
Hnulus but these were only incidental to the general uprising 
which as we have observed earlier was really the protest of the 
tenants against their landlords. Photographs of Muslims cutting 
the chotl of the Hindus and forcing beef down their throat were 
exhibited by the Government of the United Provinces m various 
places and particularly in the vicinity of temples and other sacred 
Hindu places. They were for instance exhibited m Ajudhla. A 
member of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly* asked a 
question about these photographs and pamphlets and the Govern 
ment admitted that this propaganda was done at pubhc expense 
Indian officials who showed independence of spirit and integrity 
of purpose were discouraged superseded and kept out of kev 
posts involving the exerase of personal discretion in important 
matters. Since a dtshoncst and corrupt official could be relied 
upon to cany out an anti national policy a Wind eye was turned 
on dishonesty and no serious effort was made to stamp out 
corruption while sycophants and anti India officers were rewarded 
by appreciation and preferment 

The storv of a secret deal between Mr Jinnah and Mr Churchill 
was revealed by Michael Foot, M P in an article published in the 
DaSl) Herald the offictal organ of the British Labour Party Louis 
Fischer commented on the Churchill Jinnah alliance in an article 
con t abut ed to the Hindus! han Standard,^ 

During the disturbances of 1947 it was noticed that Bntrsh and 
Anglo-Indian office rs in Police Military and Civil employ helped 

Mr Mohta LU 1 Wra. 

No** (h) b» Atrunoi t. 



The Parting of the Way? 


15 


the Muslim League organization m a most reprehensible manner 
In Orissa it was found that Muslim hooligans were given arms 
imported from Java by army men and distributed by English and 
Anglo-Indian officers Large quantities of arms and ammunition 
were stolen from and smuggled out of the Ordnance Depot at 
Jubbulporc and the information of the police was that English 
Police and Army Officers were concerned in this smuggling 
Hawkins a British Army Officer was tried and found guilty of 
possessing unlicensed arms He was alleged to be a member of 
a secret organization controlled by the Churchill Group of 
Conservatives having agents all over India These agents had 
been stirring disaffection among the Muslims and distributing arms 
to them The Commander of the Boundary Force in the Punjab, 
entrusted with the task of maintaining law and order m the areas 
alongside the boundary between East and West Punjab, was 
frequently accused of criminal apathy in putting down the distur- 
bances It was impossible to prove any specific charges, but when 
the volume of complaints increased, the Government of India 
removed him from this important post When it became certain 
that the British Government had finally decided upon the transfer 
of power to Indians and a complete relinquishment of authority in 
India was imminent, the British officials w'ere sullen and angry 
They realized that the era of their power and glory was about to 
come to an end They predicted the most dire consequences for 
India and Indians They had no urge or desire to control the forces 
of destruction and were quite con f ent to see the^break up of Pax 
Bntaimica which now' appeared galling to them m the new political 
set-up 

Such was the result achieved by a hundred years of “ divide 
and rule ” policy * 

While the extreme Hindu and Muslim communal organizations 
assisted by the British administrators, embittered the once friendly 
and neighbourly relations of the two communities, the Indian 
National Congress endeavoured, by every possible means, to, bring 
them together on a common platform, so that they could offer a 
unded front to British imperialism Founded m 1885, and com- 
pletely secular m its composition and ideology, it met every year 

* Wc make no apology for quoting the fol owing from a letter written by Lord Olivier 
to the London Times on July 10 1926 

• No one with any close acquaintance of Indian affairs will be prepared to deny that 
on the whole there is a predominant bias in British officialism in India in favour of the 
Moslem community partly on the ground of closer sympathy but more largely as a make- 
weight against Hindu nationalism ’ 



6 


Stern Reckoning 


i hj oon mobilized the enure body of political consciousness m 
he coi-Dtrv Large numbers of Muslims joined the organization 
and t its Sixth Session held in Calcutta m 1890 there were 156 
Muslim delegates out o! a total of 701 Several of its sessions 
ere presided over by Muslims.* Many of the foremost leaders 
of the Muslim community have been members of this nationalist 
organization They found that its programme and ideology were 
not only consistent with Islamic ideals but were calculated to 
further and promote Islamic culture According to Professor 
\V C Smith t some Muslims joined the National Congress because 
^e> were Muslims and because their religion taught them free 
dom equality of justice and co-operation with and respect for all 
nankird” Such were Hussain Ahmad Madm an orthodox Ulema 
•md Principal of the Deo band College and ObeduDah Srndhi a 
fire brand agitator Then again there were Muslims who joined the 
Congress because they disapproved of the Muslim League dev©' 
loping into an anti Hindu organization e g. Hakim Ajmal Khan 
Dr Saif ud Din Kitchlew Dr M A. Ansan and Maulana Abul 
kalam Azad There were others who joined the Congress because 
they were nationalist minded For them being a Muslim was 
wholly irrelevant to the question which party they should join. 
Mr Badar ud Dm Tayabji who presided over the Third National 
Congress and Yusaf Mcha rally are instances of such nationalist 
Muslims Lastly there were Muslims who bad become anti 
religious such as young Muslim intellectuals and communist*. The 
Congress hold on the Muslim mind remained firm until only a 
few years ago 

The Congress was opposed to sectarian politics and the 
principle of separate electorate*. Unfortunately the disastrous 
consequences of the separatist tendencies introduced by the Minto- 
Morley Reforms of 1909 were not fully realized and, in their 
anxiety to win over Muslim opinion at any cost whatever the 
Congress leaders entered into a pact with the Muslim League 
in 19164 whereby they accepted separate electorates for Muslims. 


t Modem Wim la Indi br Wittred Saritfu 

t The LucJlbow P»ct of 1*1* am drift id 
rortMhKd br ttw AD-lodi CtwcrrM Cosihu t, ^ 

W<*° *d »T Ac AT-lodU MoJIa Lctjrw. »hlch i 

•eerptrd prtndrte - Oac-tttrd oi dM bxflm rt artrd raonbcri tMl bo Motmamodidi 
►nrt tT *pinir WcfummnfLn ristnia la the i^cnj PrcrrtaCt-I. hi tha Proportio n . *1 

™ ™ lhc7 irprwmtrd la the Prt^Irtdil Lxrham Cooaci* br rnn" 

Mdrmwrdia 



7 he Par! tm; of the IFajs 


17 


Hus com sc of aciton may have seemed inevitable at the time 
but there can be no doubt that it was a most unfortunate sacrifice 
of nationalist ideals and a major blunder 

T he same anxici} to secuio the allegiance of the Muslim masses 
resulted in another sacrifice of secular ideals when, in 1920, the 
Congress espoused the Khilafat cause and adopted the dangerous 
course of borrowing religious emotions for gaming political ends 
The artificial stimulant applied by the Civil Disobedience move- 
ment was followed by an apathetic reaction when the events in 
Turkey made the achievement of Khilafat a practical impossibility 
I'he neutral attitude adopted by the Congress towards the Com- 
munal Award in 1932 was .mother unfortunate mistake, and 
alienated the Muslims It failed to achieve national unity and 
provided Mr Jinnah with an opportunity to say some harsh things 
about the Congress 

We have seen how a hundred years of revivalist tendencies, 
sixty years of economic rivalry, fostered and promoted by the 
insidious British pohev of “divide and rule,” and a generation of 
separate electorates created and steadily widened the gulf between 
the Muslims and non-Muslims of India The efforts of the 
Congress to bridge this gulf had some measure of success and a 
final break was avoided for a considerable time Failure, however, 
was inevitable and came partly because the British rulers always 
had the wlup-hand and partly because the remedies applied were 
inadequate and not indicated by a correct diagnosis of the malady 
It is m this context that the more recent events of the period 
1937-46 must be studied 

The Government of India Act of 1935 was an extremely 
unsatisfactory measure and scarcely improved the existing position 
from the Indian standpoint The powers of the provmcial 
authorities were, no doubt, enlarged and extended, but the terms 
of the Act intensified the separatist tendencies inherent m the 
system of separate electorates, fortified the position of the bureau- 
cracy by introducing a number of reservations which increased 
the scope of its executive functions and the Federal structure 
was intended to impede any real progress on nationalist lines 
The Congress, however, on being assured that the British Governors 
would behave as gentlemen and not interfere m the day-to-day 
administration of the provinces, decided to enter the new Councils 
and work Provincial Autonomy under the Act The Muslim 
League also came to a similar decision under the leadership of 



Stem Reckoning 


li 


Mr Jtni..h and resolved to create a Central Election Board tn 
rdt r \ -> rranize the election campaign and undertook the policy 
i gramme of mass contact”* Mr Jinn ah had scant success 
u r iev mg Muslim solidarity cm a communal basis. The Muslim 
j '>nty provinces were not wiflmg to accept Mr Jinnah s leader 
\ p and the results of the elections m 1937 were bitterly 
i appointing to him Only 4 4 per cent of the Muslims who went 
i the polls voted for tho Muslim League t In Bihar the Central 
Provinces the North West Frontier Province Orissa and Smd not 
a ingle Muslim League candidate was elected. In the Punjab 
onh two candidates (of whom one later resigned from the Muslim 
I eague) were returned as against 82 non League Muslims. The 
l eague had partial success in Bengal Bombay the United Fro- 
wned and Madras, but m these provinces also the number of 
non League candidates returned was greatly in excess of the 
League candidates $ The Congress swept the polls and found 
itself in a position to form Ministries in eight out of eleven pro- 
vinces (all except the Punjab Bengal and Sind) The Muslim 
League had not expected such a wholesale rout and felt completely 
left out of the political game. It now began to hope for 
concessions from the Congress and asked for a share in the 
administration of the provinces by including Muslim League 
Ministers m the Cabinets. This request was not so fantastic the 
Congress High Command obsessed with the rules of British 
Parliamentary etiquette seemed to think. Indeed m the United 
Provinces the Congress had in some constituencies, supported the 
League candidate and a tacit understanding appears to have grown 
up that after tho elections a Coalition Ministry would be formed. 
The Congress did not expect to secure an absolute majority in the 


St*t fccccn* Sprtcba *ad WdtU*« of Sir Hamb. aMmd by Jun&oa-Dfa AtowL 
t Tb« total tiuU t of rtaa c**t •»» 7.315,443 and of lit-** o*ty 321 **72 wttrf 

tor (3 m Waritm Lruoc 

t The c**ct p o* ( oa «n M MVwrit 




Mirim 

Bdmtny 

Scant 

UotKd rnntnct* 

Bell IT 

Cr»kil Prtntocn 

Norib-WtM frettf** rrtnbMB 

Od« 

a* i 


UuAn 

tWM 

11 

30 


OtVr 

W**«i 

17 


TJ 37 

2 «2 

Nil 19 

Nrf M 

* 23 

NO 34 

NU 4 

f « M 


Toul 



The Pm ting of the Ways 


19 


Legislature and it was assumed that it would have to rely on 
League co-operation The Congress success at the polls was how- 
ever phenomenal and entirely unexpected, and, flush with victory, 
the nationalist party declined to include a Muslim League member 
in the Government The signing of the Congress pledge was made 
a condition precedent to participation m the Cabinet There weie 
no doubt good reasons for taking this step It was argued that 
“ the Congress itself was a kind of coalition or joint front of various 
groups tied together by the dominating urge for India’s independ- 
ence ’ and — 

‘ A wider coalition meant a joining up with people whose 
entire political and social outlook was different, and who were 
chiefly interested m office and ministerships Conflict was inherent 
in the situation conflict with the representatives of British interest — 
the Viceroy, the Governor, the superior services , conflict also with 
vested interests in land and industry over agrarian questions and 
workers’ conditions The non-Congress elements were usually 
politically and socially conservative, some of them were pure 
careerists If such elements entered Government, they might tone 
down our whole social programme or at any rate obstruct and 
delay it There might even be intrigues with the Governor over 
the heads of the other Ministers A joint front against the British 
authority was essential Any breach in this would be harmful to our 
cause There would have been no binding cement, no common 
loyalty, no united objective and individual Ministers would have 
looked and pulled m different directions ”* 

Mr Nehru was somewhat impatient of the League and its 
insistence on separate representation and w'anted the whole country 
to present a united front against the British rulers, but when he 
declared that “ the parties that mattered m India are the Congress 
and the British, and others should line up with the Congress if 
they intended to survive,” Mr Jinnah was justifiably angry and 
retorted, “There is a third party, namely, the Mussalmans We 
are not going to be dictated to by anybody We are willing to 
co-operate with any group of a progressive and mdependent 


* Jawaharlal Nehru The Discovery o£ India ” 

It might be argued that the results predicted in these words were achieved when the 
Coalition Interim Government was formed in 1946 There is, however, no analogy between 
1937 and 1946 In 1937 thete was no question of partition of the country and the League 
had expressed the intention of working with the Congress 

In 1946 the League was not imbued with the same desire for co-operation as in 1937 
In fact the Muslim leaders openly declared that they had entered the Interim Government 
in order to achieve Pakistan 



20 


Stem Reckoning 


haracfrr orourted its programme and policy correspond to our 

0 mi are willing to work as equal parties for the welfare of 

r rdirt 

The unwisdom of this parliamentary orthodoxy however soon 

1 one manifest when its effects on communal relations began to 
appear The Muslim League leaders felt frustrated and chagrined. 
Mr Jmnah was angry and gave unrestrained expression to his 
sentiments against Gandhiji and Mr Nehru.* Ho called upon the 
Mussalmans of India to organize consolidate and establish 
solidarity and unity In October 1937 a session of the All India 
Muslim League was held at Lucknow This session was attended 
by Sir Sikandar Hayat khan, the Premier of the Punjab Mr Fazlul 
Haq the Premier of Bengal and Sir Saadullah Khan the Premier 
of ■^lssam, who had hitherto refused to fall into lino with 
Mr Jinn ah. The Muslim League changed its creed from “Full 
Responsible Government” to Full Independence and decided 
to take immediate steps to frame and^put into effect an economic, 
social and educational programme,” This was intended to muster 
popular support for the League and woo the non League Muslim 
groups e g the Coalition Party m the Punjab the Knshak Proja 
Party in Bengal. The Sikandar Jmnah Pact was concluded An 
attempt was made to win thr sympathies of the Indian Christians 
and members of the Scheduled Castes. Mr Jmnah undertook a 
country wide tour to establish contact with the masses. The 
Muslim League began to say that the Congress was a purely Hindu 
body and was perpetrating atrocities upon the Muslims, in the 
provinces where it was in power The allegations regarding 
atrocities were somewhat vague and undefined but the mam 
grievances may be briefly examined. The Bande Mataram 
was sung on official occasions. It was said that the assod 
ations of this song were anti Muslim. The song occurs m 
Bankim Chandra Chatterji s novel “ Ananda Math ” which deals 
with the struggle of Bhavananda the hero of the story 
against the Muslim power m Bengal The Congress agreed 
to retain only the first two stanzas of the song, but this did not 
satisfy the Muslim agitators. The use of the tricolour Congress 
flag on official buildings was another atrodty The contention of 
the Congress was that the flag represented both the major com 
munltics and had been the symbol of the united fight of the Indians 


Mr Uaaih MKini cMtfd loJr 26, 1917 la rcpTr to * 1*0 *a)eo-lr* o *« 

Qatard 1 - iemm ad of Ur Kmai." 



7 he Patting of the HVnw 


21 


agamvi Bnttvh imperialism The Ward ha Scheme of Basic 
Fduumon was another grievance It is to be observed that the 
Committee which drafted tins scheme was presided over by 
Dr Zakir Hussain who was assisted by Khwaja G Sayyadatn 
T he scheme was tued with success m Jamia Millia of Delhi a 
Muslim institution and other places The League also took 
exception to the Congress attempt to win o\cr the Muslim masses, 
and it was alleged that this was intended to stifle and destroy 
Muslim culture 1 he Hmdi-Urdu controversy was another item 
in the list of atrocities 

1 he Congress made one or nvo mistakes w'hich were magnified 
and exp’oitcd by the Muslim League The United Provinces 
Cabinet issued a circular letter to the District Officers that they 
should co-operate and act in consultation with District Congress 
Committees and its office-bearers This direction was issued on 
the ground that the Congress Governments w'crc in the position 
of national Gosernments. but there can be no doubt that the 
direction was ill-advised At about this time the Shia-Sunni trouble 
at Lucknow- began and c\cn this was utilized by the League leaders 
for their owrn purposes It wus alleged that the Congress had 
brought about this trouble by creating a split in the Muslim ranks 
Mr Jinnah remarked ‘One cannot help noting in these unfortu- 
nate developments at Lucknow' that those who are responsible for 
leading, rather misleading, sections of both Sluas and Sunnis in 
the fratricidal struggle are prominent Muslim Congressites ” The 
Hindu agitation in Hyderabad w'as ascribed to Congress instigation 

In April 1938 the Muslim League appointed a Committee to 
enquire into the Congress oppression of Muslims and the report 
of this Committee, which came to be known as the Pirpur Report, 
was submitted on November 15, 1938 In the meantime. Pandit 
Nehru had been in correspondence with Mr Jinnah and had tried 
to evolve a formula on the basts of which the Congress and the 
Muslim League could work together Mr Jinnah, however, was 
extremely evasive He had now appointed himself as the sole 
defender of Muslim rights m India and he set about achievmg his 
ends by developing an ever-increasmg proficiency in the art of 
saying “no” 

The fact of the matter is that the League, at this time, was 
desperate It had been knocking agamst a brick wall Its 
allegations of ill-treatment against the Congress Ministries could 



22 


Stem Reckoning 


not bo substantiated The Pirpur Report contained, at best a 
feu minor incidents which could easily' be matched by happenings 
of a much more serious nature in the provinces of the Punjab and 
Bengal where Muslim Ministries were m power No one but the 
League members could be convinced of the truth of the allegations 
made against the Congress Ministries. The European Governors 
of th^ provinces where the Congress was in power declared in 
unequivocal terms that the administration of the Congress 
Ministers had been singularly free from communal bias and that 
they had performed their functions with complete impartiality 
and justice. Bairn Rajendra Prasad the President of the Congress 
offered to have the allegations regarding atrocities enquired into 
by the Chief Justice of India. Mr Jmnah however declined this 
offer and said that the matter was now m the hands of the Viceroy 
But the League charges were never investigated or adjudicated 
upon by the Viceroy and the bogey of Hindu oppression was kept 
alive 

It was at this juncture that the European war came as a 
godsend to the League The Viceroy of India immediately 
announced that India was also at war This was naturally 
resented by the Congress as the Viceroys declaration was made 
without previous consultation with the Central or Provincial 
Legislatures or the Congress Ministries representing the vast body 
of public opinion in the country 

After careful consideration and kmg deliberation the Congress 
Working Committee came to the conclusion that the only course 
open to them, consistent with their honour and dignity was to 
cah upon ab the eight Congress Ministries to resign from office 
As soon as this decision was implemented the Provincial 
Governors suspended the Legislatures and took charge of the 
administrative machinery under the provisions of section 93 of the 
Government of India Act of 1935 The Muslim League was 
jubilant and offered its co-operation in the war effort It was 
decided to celebrate the end of the Congress rule by observing 
a Deliverance Day on December 22 1939 On that day 

resolutions were passed at meetings called by the Muslim League 
in various places. At the same time nationalist Muslims organized 
counter-demonstrations. 

The Congress being now out of power the League began to 
strain every nerve to climb into the seat of office. The League 
leaden realized that the Muslim Ministries in tbo Punjab and 











The Painn^ of the B'avs 


27 


1 1 c feeling of frustration m the country was intensified as the 
conviction was borne m upon all right-thinking men that the 
sahation of India could not be attained as long as the heel of 
British imperialism continued to crush free thought and enterprise 
The Congress felt desperate and, as the monster of war approached 
the doors of India, the temper of the people rose There were 
Hime who c\cn welcomed the Japanese advance with a hope bom 
of spue and hatred of the British rule In this mood of the people, 
the All-India Congress Commit'cc met at Bombay on August 7 
and 8 1942, and after careful deliberation passed the “Quit India ” 
resolution which w'as nothing more than a “reasoned argument 
for the immediate recognition of Indian freedom and the ending 
of the British rule in India ” * Early on the morning of August 9, 
large numbers of Congress leaders were arrested all over the 
country 

Months of bitter struggle followed Thousands of men and 
women were sent to prison or kept m detention The Government 
at first took no action against the Muslims but the news of these 
happenings agUalcd the Khudai Khidmatgars m the North-West 
Frontier Province where they heM demonstrations against the 
Government They w'erc beaten, fired at, arrested and imprisoned 
by the thousand By March 1943, thirty-five thousand Congress- 
men were m prison and nearly twelve thousand m detention or 
preventative custody Mr Jmnah disapproved of the Congress 
resolution and tried to show that the Muslims had kept aloof from 
these anti-British activities He accused the Congress of “ ignoring 
the Muslims ” t 

Mr Jinnah’s one aim now was to strengthen his own position 
by gathering the maximum amount of Muslim support for his idea 
of Pakistan With the Congress leaders behind bars he had 
undisputed command of the political field “Social cohesion,” 
says Bertrand Russel, “demands a creed, a code of behaviour or 
■a prevailing sentiment” Mr Jirrnah provided his followers with 
all three He gave them the creed of Muslim superiority implicit 
m the idea of Pakistan, a code of anti-Congress and anti-Hindu 
behaviour and a prevailing sentiment that Islam stood m danger 
^of perishing under Congress rule To quote Bertrand Russel 
again 

“In exceed tunes, a politician needs no power of reasoning, 
no apprehension of impersonal facts, and no shred of wisdom. 

* Jawaharlal Nehru ‘ The Discovery of India ’ 

Mr Jlnnah s address to the Muslim Federation at Bombay on January 24 1943 




28 


Stern Reckoning 


What he must have is the capacity of persuading the multitude that 
what they passionately desire is attainable and that he through his 
ruthless determination is the man to attain it” * 

The tunes indeed were excited and unusual. Danger from 
outside combined with internal conditions of food scarcity helped 
to spread discontent The dishonesty and m competence of officials 
and the greed of the business community made matters worse. The 
Bengal Famine took a toll of nearly three million lives. f The 
activates of the pro League Muslim officials m the Supply 
Departments created a class of nouveaux riches Muslims who 
identified their interests with the fortunes of the Muslim League 
The bourgeois elements had always dominated the League counsels 
and Pakistan contained a fresh appeal to their self interest In 
Pakistan there would be no risk of competition from the richer 
and more experienced Hindus. Promotions of Muslim Government 
servants would be more rapid. All the higher appointments and 
key posts would be in their hands. Their more efficient Hindu 
colleagues had always stood in their path and the only way for 
the Muslims to succeed was to oust the Hindu officers and step 
into their places The Muslim industrialists would have the field 
clear to themselves and there would be no injurious competition 
by the other communities. The Hindus had captured almost the 
entire business market and a partition of the country would mean 
greater facilities to the Muslim industrialists and possibly S*ate 
subsidies to them Tins appeal to the pocket of the bourgeoisie 
had the desired effect and the League won the sypport of almost 
the entire Muslim middle class more particularly of the men in 
the services who proved to be the staunchest protagonists of the 
League The political leaders would have unchallenged sway in 
Pakistan and as for the masses Pakistan was a glorious dream the 
realization of which was a matter of secondary importance. It 
fired their Imagination and they converged all their emotional 
energies towards it without realizing its consequences. To this was 
added the prospect of acquiring the wealth of the non Mus lims 
The prospect of loot is not an unimportant factor m the success of 
a leader s appeal. As an Instance of the emotional heat generated 
we may quote the undertaking given by Maulvi Mohammad 
Bahadur Khan President of the India States Muslim League, at 



The Parting of the Ways 


29 


the Muslim League Conference at Karachi m December 1943 

“ I solemnly pledge and bear you (Mr Jmnah) and the 
audience as my witness, I bear the air, the shining sun, the stars 
and the moon and above all I bear God as my witness' that I will 
sacrifice my life and everything at your command in the name 
of God T assure you that you will never find me lag behind 
even at the most difficult s<uge of our struggle Qaid-i-Azam, that 
day will be the greatest day of my life when I shall have sacrificed 
the last penny in my pocket and the last drop of my blood at the 
afiar of God (Voices from the meeting ‘We are with you’) 
Today, we do not want those people who want to effloresce mto 
fragrant sweet flowers on the ‘ Tree of Millat ’ We want the 
people who will spill Ihetr own blood and give their life for the 
life of the nation ” 

Mr Jinnali had no desire or intention to come to terms with 
the Congress He maintained an arrogant and unbending attitude 
towards all attempts at settlement He refused even to formulate 
concrete demands/ as the giving of a definite shape would have 
deprived Pakistan of its emotional appeal, for the human emotion 
is seldom stirred by the contemplation of a material substance or 
a logical formula The masterly evasion and intransigence of 
Mr Jmnah prevented the Gandhi-Jinnah talks of September 1944 
and Tie Simla Conference convened by Lord Wavell in 1945 from 
bringing about a satisfactory lapprochement between the parties 

The war m the West and in the East ended and Churchill’s 
Government m England was succeeded by a Labour Government, 
possessing a clear majority m the House of Commons Indians 
tried to shed their mistrust of British mtentions and once more 
turned hopeful eyes towards their rulers Their hopes and 
expectations were reinforced by the compelling influences of world 
conditions America had once tried to intervene on behalf of India 
during the Cnpps’ episode, f and was now expected to mould 


* Mr linnah gave an interview to the representative of the Daily Worker of I ondon on 
October 5, 1944 He said, To understand the Pakistan demand in its full significance it 
is to be borne in mind that six provinces namely the N W F P Baluchistan Sind and the 
Punjab m the North-West and Bengal and Assam in the North-East of this suo-continent 
have a population of seventy million Muslims and the total population of Muslims would not 
be less than 70 per cent ’ Professor W C Smith has pointed out that this statement either 
** does not mean what it seems to mean or else Mr linnah either was lying or was grossly 
misinformed ” for according to the census of 1941, the Muslim popu.ation of these six 
provinces is only 55 23 per cent of the total population of these provinces 

f The pressure exercised by Mr Roosevelt upon the British Government is said to 
have been responsible to a great extent for Cripps being sent to India When the 
negotiations were drawing to a conclusion, Louis Johnson, the Personal Representative of 
Mr Roosevelt tried to intervene but specific instructions rec cited from Mr Roosevelt 
arrived too late and Cnpps had already departed 



30 


Stem Reckoning 


British attitude towards Indian aspirations. The unrest in the 
country showed signs of spreading and it was becoming increasingly 
difficult to maintain a firm hold on what Mr Churchill called the 
most precious iewel in the British Crown. The trial of the Indian 
National Army officers in the Delhi Fort revealed and gave wide 
publicity to the story of a Provisional Government of free India, 
fighting the British imperialist forces under the leadership of 
Sobhas Chandra Bose and fired the imagination of the masses. 
Riots to protest against the sentences awarded to these officers 
broke out in Calcutta in February 1946 A few days later the 
muttnv of the Naval ratings m Bombay provoked sympathetic riots 
m the cities of Bombay and Calcutta. The Jubbulpore sepoys went 
on strike in the end of February and a week later the Victor} 
Day Celebrations m Delhi on March 7 were accompanied by hostile 
demonstrations and riots necessitating firing by the Civil and 
Military police The economic position deteriorated every day 
A Parliamentary Delegation representing all political parties in 
Britain came to India and after an extensive tour of observation 
and discussion, returned to England. They conveyed their 
impressions to the British Government On February 19 the 
British Prime Minister announced that “three Cabinet Ministers 
are going to India to discuss with leaders of Indian opinion the 
framing of an Indian ConsUtution 

It had been decided to hold fresh elections for the Central 
and Provincial Legislatures and this provided the Muslim League 
with an unparalleled opportunity for exacerbating communal 
feelings. The winter of 1945-46 stands out as an era of hate and 
bitterness. The ejection campaign of the Muslim League was 
one sustained and uncompromising attack on everything and 
everyone that did not fall in line with the League ideology It 
was not a political fight but a fight in which the sole attempt of 
the Muslim League was to arouse communal passioni and work 
up the religious frenzy of the ignorant and superstitious masses 
Sajpda Naihms, Pits and religious leaders of the fanatical school 
were impressed into service and sent out to propagate the creed 
of hate The voter* were warned against the kafirs and they were 
told that voting for a natton&Iist Muslim was a sin that could not 
be expiated. Five times a day after prayers m the mosque*, 
Fomas were read out that Unionists Cm the Punjab) and nationalist 
Muslims were enemies of Iilam and working as spies of the Hindu 
Congress and therefore anyone casting a vote in their favour 



The Paitmg of the Ways 


31 


would be excommunicated It was announced that masmuch 
as voting for a non-Leaguer was tantamount to kufi the voter’s 
marriage would stand automatically dissolved One or two voters 
who died during the elections were actually refused burial m the 
Muslim graveyards The clTcct of this propaganda on the illiterate 
rural masses may well be imagined District officials, school 
teachers, postmen, subordinate Revenue staff, all worked day and 
night to influence the minds of the Muslim voters and work up 
their emotions by these devices The Muslim press carried on a 
ruthless campaign of hate and anti-Hindu propaganda and its 
vitriolic utterances whipped up mass hysteria among the Muslims 
These threats and intimidations were completely successful 
The Muslim League secured all the Muslim seats m the Central 
Assembly and a vast majority of the seats m the Provincial 
Assemblies The analysis of voting, however, shows that nationalist 
Muslims secured more than one-fourth of the total Muslim votes 
cast In Sind, they obtained 32 per cent and in the Punjab 30 
per cent of the total Muslim votes + It is instructive to observe 
that the Muslim League votes were only 17 per cent of the total 
votes (ah parties) cast The demand for Pakistan was, therefore, 
supported by less than one-fifth of those who went to the polls 
The League was, however, exultant and victory celebrations 
were held throughout India Mr Jmnah declared that the League 
had secured not less than 90 per cent of the Muslim votes 
Mr Abdul Hamid Khan of Madras claimed that 99 per cent 
Muslims were for Pakistan f The anh-Hindu campaign increased 
in intensity and the speeches at the Convention of the Muslim 
League Legislators held m Delhi in the beginning of April 
contained wholly unnecessary and unjustifiable attacks on Hindus 
The resolution passed at this Convention described the Hindu 
Caste System as “ a direct negation of nationalism, equally, demo- 
cracy and all the noble ideas that Islam stands for ” Khan Abdul 
Qaiyum Khan threatened that the Muslims would take out the 
sword if Pakistan were not conceded Hindus were referred to 
as enemies , reason and moderation were thrown to the wmds and 
abusive epithets pushed to the superlative degree were freely 
employed 

* The Muslim League polled 45 01 156 votes while the non-Leagtie Muslims polled 
15,86 392 votes The- total number of votes cast was 2 63 55 853 “ Mura’s Annual Register 

— 1946 Vol I Jan -June ’ 

t The Mus im League leaders have never shown any respect for truth Mr Jinnah 
has .given -the number of Muslims tn India as eighty millions, ninety millions and one 
hundred mi lions on various occasions as it suited him See also page 29 


Stem Reckoning 


12 


On March 15 1946 Mr Attlee in amplification of his 
announcement of February 19 stated that the Cabinet Delegation 
was ready to leave for India, He declared that it was the intention 
of PCs Majesty s Government to help India " to attain her freedom 
aa speedily and as fully as possible.” He added that while 
“mindful of the rights of minorities” who should be “able to 
hve free from fear ” the British people cannot allow a minority 
to p’ace a veto on the advance of the majority n This statement 
indicated a new orientation in British policy and when the Cabinet 
Delegation arrived at Karachi on March 23 1946 expectation 
ran high After prolonged discussions with the leaders of various 
parties it was found that no agreement was possible and on May 
!6 1946 the Delegation, with the approval of His Majesty’s 
Government m the United Kingdom, published a Statement by 
way of an award. This Statement gave reasons for not acceding 
to the demand for the partition of India and contained a short term 
and a long-term Plan The short-term Plan provided for the 
formation of an Interim Government consisting of Indians This 
meant immediate transfer of power to Indian hands. The long 
term Plan provided for the framing of a constitution on certain 
lines. The provinces of India were divided into three groupa. 
Group A consisted of the Hindu majority provinces of Madras, 
Bombay United Provinces, Bihar Central Provinces and Onssa 
Group B consisted of the three Muslim majority provinces in the 
North West namely the Punjab North West Frontier Province 
and Sind wbLe Group C comprised the provinces of Bengal and 
Assam. The provinces were given the right to opt out of their 
particular Group in accordance with the provisions contained in 
the Statement- The Groups would have complete autonomy in 
dealing with all subjects save three viz. Defence Communications 
and Foreign Affairs which would be administered by the Centre. 
This scheme preserved the unity of India and at the same tune 
presented Mr Jinnah with a modified Pakistan. The scheme was 
considered by the Working Committees of the Congress and the 
Muslim League. The Congress Working Committee by a reso- 
lution passed on May 24 1946 asked for some further clarification 
of the scheme envisaged by the Statement The Working 
Committee of the Muslim League decided to accept the entire 
Statement on June 5 and Mr Jinnah communicated this decision 
to the Viceroy The Congress was willing to accept the portion 
of the Statement relating to the long term Plan If the question of 



The Parting of the Ways 


33 


opting out was clarified but was doubtful about the wisdom of 
joining the Interim Government on the proposed terms On June 
16 1946. the Viceroy and the Cabinet Delegation issued another 
Statement announcing that the Viceroy intended to issue invita- 
tions to a number of persons asking them to serve as Members 
of the Interim Government Clause 8 of this Statement which 
became a matter of contention was as follows 

“ In the event of two major parlies or either of them provmg 
unwilling to join in the setting up of a Coalition Government on 
the above lines, it is the intention of the Viceroy to proceed with 
the formation of the Interim Government which will be as repre- 
sentative as possible of those willing to accept the Statement of 
May 16 

Mr Jinnah had already communicated to the Viceroy his 
acceptance of the May 16 Statement The Muslim League was, 
therefore eligible to serve on the Interim Government The 
Congress was hesitating and Mr Jinnah hoped that they would 
refuse Lord Wavell’s original plan was to have an Interim 
Government of twelve members, five drawn from the Muslim 
League five from the Congress, one from the Sikh community 
and one Indian Christian or Anglo-Indian If the Congress 
decided to join the Interim Government Mr Jinnah had an even 
chance of securing a majority and having the decisive voice in 
everything He had several times courted the favour of the 
Christians and the Anglo-Indians and had been holding extensive 
powparlers with the Sikh leaders If, on the other hand, the 
Congress refused, Mr Jinnah hoped, under the terms of clause 8 
quoted above, to be in sole charge of the Interim Government 

Lord Wavell revised his original scheme of twelve members 
of the Interim Government by adding a thirteenth to be drawn 
from the Scheduled Castes The Statement of June 16 envisaged 
an Executive Council of fourteen members Mr Jmnah took 
strong exception to these changes as they decreased his chances 
of outvoting the Congress members His hope of Congress refusal, 
however, sustained him On June 25, 1946, the Congress Work- 
ing Committee came to a final decision and this decision was 
conveyed to the Viceroy the same day The Congress had 
accepted the long-term Plan, placmg their own interpretation on 
the clause relating to optmg out, but expressed them inability to 
“ accept the proposals for the formation of an Interim Government 
as contained m the Statement of June 16 ” Lord Wavell called 
Mr Jinnah and apprised him of the exact situation Mr Jinnah 



34 


Stern Reckoning 


was told that the formation of tbo Interim Government would be 
postponed for the present but that the Government when formed 
would be a Coalition Government m which the Congress would 
ha\e a share Mr Jmnahs annoyance knew no bounds. He had 
thought that his adroit moves had brought him to a position from 
which he could hope to have a decisive say in all matters con 
cerning the Government of India He argued that because the 
Congress had not accepted the Statement of May 26 m its 
entirety it had disqualified itself from participating in the short 
term Plan The Viceroy should not therefore postpone the 
formation of the Interim Government but should, according to the 
provisions of clause 8 of the Statement of June 16 proceed unme 
diately to appoint the personnel of his Executive Council from 
he Muslim League Party The Viceroy however was not willing 
to form a Government from which the majority party representing 
more than 75 per cent of the people of India was excluded. Mr 
Jrnnah accused the Viceroy of breach of faith, reminded him that 
44 statesmen should not eat their words ” and told him that m the 
altered circumstances the Muslim League could not offer its 
co-operation. 

* * * * 

Reference has been made to the provision regarding the 
question of opting out by the provinces from the various Groups. 
At this stage this matter may be examined briefly as it formed 
the subject matter of controversy between the Congress and the 
British Government on the one hand and the Congress and tho 
Muslim League on the other Clause 15(5) of the State 
ment of May 16 provided that “Provinces should be 
free to form Groups with Executive and Legislatures and each 
Group could determine the Provincial subjects to be taken in 
common “ The procedure for opting out was laid down in 
clause 19 (>) and (vui) — 

“(v) These section* shall proceed to settle the Provincial 
Constitutions for the Provinces included in each section and shall 
also decide whether any Group Constitution shall be set up for 
those Provinces and if so with what provincial subjects the Group 
should deal. Provinces shall have the power to opt out of the 
Groups in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause (vlif) 
below 

“ (vllt) As soon as tho new constitutional arrangements have 
come into operation it shall be open to any Province to elect to 



The Parting of the Ways 


35 


come out of any Group in which it has been placed Such a deci- 
sion shall be taken by the new Legislature of the Province after 
the first general election under the new Constitution ” 

The question at once arose whether a province like the 
North-West Frontier Province, placed in Section B, or Assam, 
which was placed m Section C, would have the right to opt out of 
the Section assigned to it before the new elections under the new 
Constitution or after The Congress Working Committee took 
the view that under clause 15(5) provinces were free to form 
Groups and this meant that a province could choose the Group 
which it wanted to join before the new elections. It was also 
claimed that the Constituent Assembly would be a sovereign body 
and would be at liberty to alter any rule of procedure laid down 
by the Cabinet Mission Plan The Congress President wrote to 
Lord Pcthick Lawrence on May 20, 1946, drawing attention to 
these two points He said, “The Assembly itself, when formed, 
will in my Committee’s opinion be a sovereign body for the 
purpose of drafting the Constitution unhindered by any external 
authority Further, that it will be open to the Assembly to 
vary m any way it likes the recommendations and the procedure 
suggested by the Cabinet Delegation ” With regard to the question 
of opting, he said 

“ In your recommendations for the basic form of the 
Constitution you state tha* provinces should be free to form 
Groups with executive and legislatures Later on m the 
Statement, however, on page 5 you state that the provincial 
representatives to the Constituent Assembly will divide up into 
three Sections and these Sections shall proceed to settle the 
Provincial Constitutions for the provmces m each Section and 
shall also decide whether any Group Constitution shall be set up 
for these provmces There appears to us to be a marked 
discrepancy m these two separate provisions. The basic provision 
gives full autonomy to a province to do what it likes and subse- 
quently there appears to be a certain compulsion m the matter 
which clearly infringes that autonomy ” 

The attitude of the Congress was based on democratic 
principles and was prompted, to a large extent, by fears regarding 
the fate of the North-West Frontier Provmce and of Assam where 
the Congress Ministries were m power Section B had a total 
strength of 35 members in the Constituent Assembly Of these 
only three represented the North-West Frontier Provmce and it 



36 


Stem Reckoning 


was dear that if the North West Frontier Province were com 
pelled to go into Section B before the framing of the Constitution 
the voice of the province would carry no weight whatsoever The 
Constitution of Section B might therefore bo framed in such a 
way that it would become impossible for the North West Frontier 
Province to opt out and join Group A. This could be done by 
changing the nature of the e ect orate or by Imposing disabilities 
upon candidates for the Assembly Similarly in Section C there 
were 70 members of the Constituent Assembly and of these only 
10 were assigned to Assam and they would be outvoted by the 
Bengal members 

The Congress and the Muslim League saw the mischief 
pregnant in the procedure laid down for opting out and, while the 
Congress took exception to it, the Muslim League was gratified. 
Mr Jmnah saw that the scheme would certainly enable him to get 
the Provinces of North West Frontier and Assam in the two 
Sections which would virtually comprise Pakistan Mr Jmnah s 
atti*ude in this matter was on a par with his demand that in order 
to determine whether a certain province wanted to join Pakistan 
or not a plebiscite of the Muslim voters alone should be held 
rather than a referendum m which voters of all communities were 
free to express their wishes. It was for this reason that the 
Congress Working Committee insisted on the contradiction 
involved in the basic provisions of the long term Plan contained 
in the Statement of May 16 and sub-clause (vui) When the 
matter was debated m the House of Commons on July 18 
Sir Stafford Cripps maintained that M it was an essential feature of 
the scheme that the provinces should go into the Sections.* 1 In 
September Assam deaded not to enter Section C, and it appeared 
that there was no way of resolving the deadlock before December 
9 on which date the Constituent Assembly was due to meet 
Towards the end of November Indian leaders were invited to 
London to discuss the matter with His Majesty s Government 
The discussion however failed to bring about a settlement and 
the British Government declared that the interpretation accepted 
by the League was the correct one. The Congress offer of referring 
the matter to the Federal Court of India was rejected, and ft was 
not tPII Lord Mountbatten drew up hi* Plan of June 3 1947 that 
the matter was finally disposed of This episode shows dearly 
that while the Congress took its stand on democratic principles 
and insisted that a province should have the right to choose its 




38 


Stern Reckoning 


“ And Whereas it has become abundantly clear that the 
Muslims of India would not rest content with anything less than 
the immediate establishment of an independent and full sovereign 
State of Pakistan and would resist any attempt to impose any 
constitution long term or short term, or setting up of any Interim 
Government at the Centre without the approval and consent of the 
Muslim League the Council of the All India Muslim League is 
convinced that now the time has come for the Muslim nation to 
resort to Direct Action to achieve Pakistan and to get nd of the 
present slavery under the British and contemplated future Caste 
Hindu domination. 

“This Council calls upon the M uslim nation to stand to a 
man behind their sole representative organisation — the All India 
Muslim League and be ready for every sacrifice. 

“This Council directs the Working Committee to prepare 
forthwith a programme of direct action to carry out the policy 
initiated above and to organize the Muslims for the coming 
struggle to be launched as and when necessary 

“As a protest against and m token of their deep resentment 
of the attitude of the British this Council calls upon the 
Mussalmans to renounce forthwith the titles conferred upon them 
by the Alien Government” 



r 


II 



In an enthusiastic public meeting with whose purpose 
one is in sympathy there is a tense of exaltation combined 
triih warmth and safety the emotion tohlch Is shared grows 
more and more intense until it crowds out all other feelings 
excerpt an exultant tense of power produced by the 
multiplication of the ego Collective excitement is a delicious 
intoxication in which sanity humanity and even self 
preservation are easily forgotten and in tchich atrocious 
massacres and heroic martyrdom are equally possible 
Bertrand Russkli/— Potper 


Non let it toorf mischief thou art afoot 
Take thou what course thou ToiU 1 


Si lakes pka re — Jui’Mis C cesar 



CHAPTER TWO 

DIRECT ACTION DAY AND AFTER 

(i) 

Tur decision was made and (he die was cast The League 
leaders announced m no uncertain terms that the two resolutions 
passed at the Bombay Session of the Council on the July 29, 1946, 
were intended to be a clarion-call to their followers and a 
challenge to their enemies There were “ scenes of unparalleled 
enthusiasm ’ * inside the Kaisar Bagh where this “ most historic 
act” was performed Outside, on the road, a small crowd of 
enthusiastic Muslims waited expectantly, huddled together beneath 
a canopy of umbrellas, while the ram poured down m a steady 
fine drizzle, mirroring their mud bespattered shoes m the 
macadamized surface of the road The meaning and purport of 
“ Direct Action ” were not left m doubt It meant “ good-bye to 
constitutional methods,” the “ forging of a pistol ” and using it 
Mr Jmnah declared “ What we have done today is the most 
historic act m our history Never have we m the whole history 
of the League done anything except by constitutional methods and 
by constitutionalism But now we are obliged and forced into 
this position This day we bid good-bye to constitutional methods ” 
The applause which accompanied this declaration encouraged 
Mr Jmnah to add that he did not believe in equivocation and 
meant every word of what he said He concluded his speech by 
quoting a couplet of the Persian poet Firdausi in a loud voice 
resonant with passion 

“ If you seek peace we do not want wai 

But if you want wai we will accept it unhesitatingly ” 

“ The quotation was drowned m vociferous shouting of 
League slogans and cheers ” t 

The Congress might be content to bask m the halo of a self- 
denymg ordinance or struggle on as best it could through the 
quagmire of constitutionalism and nationalism, the League had 
chosen to forge ahead with rapid strides towards the seat of power 
and glory The means adopted or the cost incurred were matters 


* The Dawn, August 30, 1946 
t ibid 


4 



42 


Stem Reckoning 


of secondary consideration. Not for Mr Jinn ah or his acolytes 
the way of peace or true democracy They had openly abjured 
the democratic ideal as a phantom wholly unsmted to Indian 
conditions.* What they really meant was that they could not rely 
on a democratic vote to give them absolute power and position. 
The petulant impatience of Mr Jmnah could not brook the deliys 
and uncertainties of a lawful path. He had seen fanatical 
audiences vibrate to the sound of his not unmusical voice. He Jiad 
silenced refractory criticism with an upraised finger or d stern 
look While yet m his teens he bad successfully conducted an 
election campaign in England on behalf of Dadabhoy Narojl the 
Parsi candidate for the British House of Commons. Since his 
establishment a* the head of the AD India Muslim League m 1937 
he had within hts narrow sphere wielded aU the powers of a 
dictator in steadily increasing measure.! With consummate skill 
he had manoeuvred himself mto a seemingly unassailable position 
from which all the power and prestige of the Congress could not 
dislodge him. In the last chapter we saw hfiw Mr Jmnah 
demanded his right to form an Interim Government without the 
Congress and how this demand was rejected by the Viceroy To 
be thus frustrated when the fruit of his toils was almost within 
his grasp was a distressing mortification. His disappointment and 
chagrin on this occasion were deeper and more galling than in 
1937 when the powers exercised by the Congress Ministries under 
the Government of India Act of 1935 were neither so extensive 
nor so fuU blooded as the declaration of the Cab met Mission in 
1946 seemed to adumbrate. Methods of peaceful negotiations 
had failed to bang Mr Jmnah to the pinnacle of his ambition 
so now he unhesitatingly turned to fanatical violence and decided 
to launch a crusade against the so-called oppression of the Bahia 
British alliance. He made a call for Direct Action. It was the 
commencement of Operation Pakistan in dead earnest 

After the emotional outbursts in Kalsar Bagh Mr Jinnah 
was asked by a press representative if the resolutions passed by 
the League Council ruled out the scope of negotiations. He 
retorted “ What are the other nations doing ? Armed to the 


M JLoaih d'orard tV« thevn 1c in article wrtttt* for Tire and Tide” totttd 
fro« New Delhi on Fchrary U 1940 H ei p rn a ed tbt optakM rtmt Waiter* Dernocmr 
«teo*y t»«tcd to 1 adL> and to: tu bnpcaiilo* om IkSi *u a ta tha body 


t At the open levioo of the MwiBm held la r wtH hj April. 1MJ, 

" athortfed to taka every H*r> or action ai ha nny too* 3 cr occctaary 1* 
rwttx-riaa of a*d retroa* to tha ofcfceti of the Uo<9 Lcirac n b* dremt proper 
* to Ch>r*CT II la AppewSr L 


See iNo Not. < 1 



Direct Action Day and After 


43 


teeth with a'om bombs, arc they not going on talking and dis- 
cussing 0 Arc they not at the same time going on with 
preparations to put down any party they like ? Why do you 
want me (the League) alone to sit with folded hands I am also 
going to make preparations to meet the situation as and when it 
arises ” Asked if the proposed Direct Action would be violent 
or non-violent Mr Jinnah said, “ I am not going to discuss 
ethics 

Mr Liaquat All Khan told the Associated Press of America 
that Direct Action meant “ resorting to non-constitutional methods, 
and that can take any form and whatever form may suit the 
conditions under which we live ” He added, “ We cannot eliminate 
any method Direct Action means any action against the law ” 
Sardar Abdul Rab Nishtar was reported to have said that Pakistan 
could only be achieved by shedding blood and, if opportunity 
arose, the blood of non-Muslims must be shed, for “ Muslims are 
no believers m ahimsa ” Khwaja Nazimuddm declared that 
Leaguers were not pledged to non-violence 

This was the interpretation of “ Direct Action ” given by the 
leaders themselves The lower orders of the League hierarchy 
and the rank and file of Mushm masses heard what their leaders 
said and knew what was expected of them Months of insidious 
propaganda and the emotional excitement of religious fanaticism 
had filled their minds with jealousy and hatred The two-nation 
theory had been dinned into their ears till they came to believe 
that Congress rule meant Hindu tyranny and the total annihilation 
of Muslim culture It was felt that Islam itself was m immediate 
danger of perishing The unruly elements who flourish on the 
fears of the timid during times of lawlessness, and hope to reap 
a harvest of loot and plunder, were straining at the leash, and the 
decision of July 29 was the first definite signal for action and 
a pointer in the direction towards which they had to proceed 

The world at large heard these utterances and felt dismayed 
The Western nations had just emerged from the throes of the most 
murderous war that history has ever known, and still lay panting 
and exhausted Chma was engaged m a fr&tncidal combat which 
seemed interminable Palestme was developmg mto an mcurable 
cancer The United Nations had failed to solve satisfactorily a 
single problem — economic, social or political — arising out of the 


* Statesman Ausust 1 1946 




44 


Stern Reckoning 


Second World War and the killing was yet gomg on on the 
continent of Asia And now the Muslim League had openly and 
deliberately spurned the way of peaceful negotiation and decided 
to have recourse to violent and unlawful means The decision 
could not fail to evoke resentment and dismay The non Muslims 
in India were appalled at this scarcely veiled threat the British 
press was all but unanimous in condemning the step taken by 
Mr Jinnah. The Manchester Guardian ascribed the event to 
Mr Jinnah s anger and disappointment because the Viceroy would 
not let him form the Interim Government without the Congress. 
According to the News Chronicle u there could be no excuse for 
the wi.d language and the abandonment of negotiations which 
marked the meeting of the League Council. It asked. What 
precisely does Mr Jinnah think he will achieve by embracing 
violence and. at a moment when so substantial a part of his claim 
has been conceded ? Does he think that communal strife will 
benefit India or even the Muslim part of India ? He has only 
to look at other parts of Asia to sec what lies at the end of that 
journey ” The News Chronicle concluded on a note of despair 
“ it is hopeless, of course if Mr Jinnah is wedded to complete 
intransigence if as now seems the case he is really thirsting for 
a holy war ” Other papers expressed similar views. 

We have drawn attention to the comments of the British 
Press in order to show that those who read the terms of the Bom 
bay resolutions and the speeches delivered in their support were 
under no misconception regarding the aims and intentions of the 
League They believed and ngbtly so that Mr Jinnah was 
virtually declaring a civil war m India.* 

The details of how the Day of Direct Action was to be 
observed had now to be worked out Mr Jmnah and Khwaja 
Nazimuddm when questioned on this pomt immediately, after the 
Bombay session said that they were not prepared to say anything 
about the matter Within a few days however Khwaja Nazi 
muddin was able to say that the Muslim population of Bengal 
knew very well what u Direct Action ” would mean.t 

Immediate steps were taken to implement the momentous 
decision amved at A Council of Action was appointed to draw 
up a programme of Direct Action and devise ways and means of 

Ur fcWt»irdT t the Coo ezdoo of the Uc*3ra Icmr b*d tM W 

rhxJ ter ooe lotto ooe o*cc ooe ta. U our bu rWnrvt t j will nor mocmj* 

to ftro *n iiLWtr Wt tiu ta <w turn daund. If jroa wuc wir mbc o 1 

nor prctwrid » form* the future." 

r AmrUA flefr**. Aorut U 1MC 



Duect Action Day and After 


45 


carrying it through The meetings of this Council of Action 
were naturally secret but the results of deliberations conducted 
behind closed doors, were made manifest a few days later by the 
events which provided the overture to a long and horrible drama 
To these secret conclaves came Khan Iftikhar Hussam Khan of 
Mamdot, President of the Punjab Muslim League and later the 
Premier of the West Punjab, and Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan, 
the impulsive but ambitious son of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan He 
had been found guilty of corrupt practices and dimissed from the 
post of a Minister by Sir Khizar Hayat Khan and was anxious to 
resuscitate his lost reputation Subsequent events showed that 
he had not succeeded m curbmg his wayward tendencies and 
there is at present* a proposal to prosecute him for offences com- 
mitted when he again became a Minister m West Punjab Begum 
Shah Nawaz the daughter of Sir Mohammad Shaft who had 
broken away from Mr Jinnah and chosen to co-operate with the 
British Government at the Round Table Conference, was another 
Punjabi who attended these meetings Mr I I Chundngar 
President of the Bombay Provincial Muslim League and now a 
Minister of the Pakistan Government, represented Bombay, 
while Mr H S Suhrawardy, the Chief Minister of Bengal, 
spoke on behalf of the more important of the two League 
Ministries in India at the time 

A great deal of thought and argument went to shape the deci- 
sion of the League leaders It was finally decided that Calcutta 
should be the venue of the opening scene of the dark drama which 
the whole of India was to witness during the course of the next 
sixteen months and for this decision there were very good 
reasons 

There were, at this tune, only two League Ministries m India, 
namely, Bengal and Smd The position m Smd was not at all 
satisfactory from the League pomt of view Sir Ghulam Hussain 
Hidayatullah felt extremely insecure m his position as Provincial 
Premier He had successfully evaded a censure motion but 
another bad been tabled and it was feared that the opposition 
might carry it through t Moreover, the Smd Governor had been 
interfering m the day-to-day administration of the province, and 
the Ministry, therefore, did not feel that they could undertake to 
carry out a programme of Direct Action successfully Bengal, 
on the other hand, had a powerful League Ministry with 


* 1949 


t See page 241 In Chapter V 



46 


Stem Reckoning 


Mr Suhrawardy at its head, and in bun the Gaid i Azam saw a 
most efficient instrument for executing his design. Suave of appear 
ance and urbane m his manners he was a clever politician He 
accepted Mr Jmnah as his leader because in this course he saw 
a splendid opportunity for furthering his own interests. He 
possessed the necessary skill for provoking a controversy and 
then turning the situation to his own advantage He was capable 
of starting a large scale and gruesome massacre m Calcutta an d 
then afterwards associating himself with Mahatma Gandhi s 
peace mission He was seen to interfere m the working of the 
police m the Control Room but, when charged with procrastina 
tion and cr iminal neglect, he pleaded that the Commissioner of 
Police had declined to carry out his orders for restoring peace 
and sought shelter behind the wording of section 9 of the Police 
Act which entrusted “the exclusive direction and control" of the 
Police Force to the Commissioner of Police As head of the 
Government in Bengal he refused to issue petrol coupons to the 
Muslim league lomes but as a Muslim Leaguer he issued 
supplementary petrol coupons for hundreds of gallons to the 
Ministers individually and to himself. This petrol was later used 
to transport Muslim rioters on Direct Action Day * He was 
capable of issuing a statement to the Associated Press of India 
on the evening of August 16 that conditions were improving 
when things had been going from bad to worse throughout the 
city When questioned on tins point later be denied that he had 
issued such a statement On August 23 Bpcaldng on the radio 
be urged the people of Bengal to live in peace and brotherly 
affection and within half an hour sent oat a special message to 
the correspondents of the foreign Press which wholly contradict 
ed his radio broadcast It was probably on his advice that Cal 
cutta was selected for starting a large-scale assault upon the non 
Muslims Khwaja Nazimuddin was an even more conscientious 
Muslim Leaguer He was more forthright than Mr Suhrawardy 
and was far more hostile to the Hindus He had more experience 
of administrative matters and his advice and assistance were of 
inestimably value m drawing up the programme for the Direct 
Action Day and m implementing it He reaped his reward later 
by succeeding Mr Jinn ah as the Governor-General of Pakistan. 

The position of Bengal and, more particularly of Calcutta 
was extremely important from t he League point of view Bengal 

- Maker**, aathi ta ■import of no-coofltkaicc notion to the 

LrtHtinvt AwetnNr on September » 1946. nld, Erfdcnc* it YaiUWc tint the* 
ctxjpom *crt nnj by krrici mori** In Cilcrxti on tboac frttfnl day*," 



Dncct Action Day and Aftei 


47 


was a Muslim majority province with a Muslim population of 
54 3 per cent (1941) The eastern districts had a preponderance 
of Muslim population while, m the western districts, the Hindus 
were m a majority This circumstance had persuaded Lord 
Curzon to effect a partition of the province m 1905 There was 
considerable Hindu agitation against this measure, and when, in 
1911 the partition was annulled, the Mushms looked upon the 
decision of the British Government as a wholly unjustifiable 
surrender to the Hindu desire for domination and a betrayal of 
the pledges given to the Muslims The large Muslim majority 
area of East Bengal-c//m-Assam where the Muslims might have 
attained economic domination was broken up and the Muslims 
of East Bengal were relegated to a subordinate position They 
had to contend with the greater ability and experience of the 
Hindu business men and the better educational qualifications of 
the Hindu candidates for Government posts Economic interests 
were identified with religious persuasion and the Muslims felt 
that m the re-united Bengal they could not win the prize of power 
and money with their only slightly superior numerical strength 
The solution which presented itself was some form of political 
readiuslment which would reflect correctly the census figures 
The Government of India Act of 1935 was scarcely a sovereign 
remedy, for according to its provisions the Muslims obtained only 
1 17 seats in a Legislature of 250 To give effective protection to 
British business interests the Europeans and the Anglo-Indians 
were given a much larger representation than their numbers 
warranted In 1946 they had as many as 29 seats in the Assembly 
whereas they comprised scarcely one per cent of the total 
population The Muslims had been allotted only 119 seats The 
Muslims could no doubt depend on European and Ango-Indian 
votes but their uncertain support could not be accepted as a com- 
plete panacea for all time and for all the ills with which the 
Muslims imagined themselves to be afflicted In this set-up of 
things Calcutta occupied a position of special importance It 
stood on the common Ime which divided the Muslim and Hmdu 
majority areas and, when the partition of Bengal was bemg 
effected foi the second tune m 1947, the contendmg parties fought 
for the prize of this rich city with all the vigour at their com- 
mand “ In Calcutta Hindus predominate m numbers, com- 
mercial and professional wealth and experience, and resources 
and organization, but the course of events smee the re-union of 



48 


Stem Reckoning 


Bengal has made Calcutta the richest prize In what is now 
a Muslim majority province * 

Another reason why the choice fell upon Calcutta was that 
there had been a most unfortunate weakeping of the authority 
responsible for maintaining Law and order Calcutta had in 
recent years witnessed large scale breaches of the peace and these 
together with the political change m the administrative machinery 
had undermined the prestige and power of the authorities. In 
November 1945 the agitatton against the trial, by Court Martial 
m De^n of certain members of Subhas Boses Indian National 
Army had resulted m a clash with the police. The demonstrators 
were refused permission to lead a procession Into the area of 
Dalhousie Square and when they insisted the police opened fire 
on them But they succeeded in breaking through the police 
cordon and marched m triumph through the prohibited area. This 
was followed by another demonstration m February 1946 when 
Abdul Rashid of the Indian National Army was sentenced to a 
term of imprisonment On this occasion the military had to be 
called in to assist the police when the mob became unruly In 
July 1946 a large and threatening mob collected m front of the 
Legislative Assembly and demanded the release of certain political 
prisoners Some of the agitators pushed past the policemen on 
duty and invaded the Assembly building. They were persuaded 
to leave only when the Chief Minister assured them that be would 
examine the case of each prisoner and announce his decision 
within a short time In the same month (July 1946) the Posts and 
Telegraph employees went on strike for several weeks and, on 
Monday July 29 workers of all type* observed a general strike 
in sympathy with the strikers. M In Calcutta on that day there 
were no trams no buses, no taxis, not even rickshaws. Shops 
were dosed and offices Government and commercial, were heavily 
picketed Picketers turned away a number of Secretaries and 
at least one Minister while the police, under orders not to 
precipitate a clash which would undoubtedly have involved a 
general, conflagration looked on. The life of the city was brought 
to a standstill and thousands of strikers took charge of the city 
and went where they pleased.” f 


Aut« IMS, pcbtabal bj 

i K* fTrmrw c< BcmiI, I!omc DrpirTme*!. fag 
t fUd. 



Direct Action Day and Ajtci 


49 


Mr Suhrawardy was the Minister m charge of the portfolio 
of Law and Order and this state of affairs was known to him He 
expatiated on this theme at considerable length when defending 
himself in the Bengal Legislative Assembly in the course of a 
debate on a no-confidcncc motion In planning the programme of 
Direct Action Day lie decided to make use of it in shapmg the 
course of events The fact that in Calcutta the Hindus were m 
the majority did not deter Mr Suhrawardy from acceptmg the 
responsibility of making a success of the Direct Action Day 
Indeed this was an incentive and put him on his mettle He 
decided to show to the world what a Muslim minority could do 
when they were determined to use violence and gangster methods, 
and the Daw n drew the attention of its readers to this circumstance 
aPer the events in Calcutta had taken place * Thus the position 
of the League Ministry in Bengal, the importance of Calcutta and 
the weakness of the Administrative Authority made Calcutta 
eminently suitable for a demonstration of violence on Direct 
Action Day Mr Suhrawardy was just the man for this purpose 
and he undertook to implement the decision of the League in a 
befitting manner It was, therefore, m Calcutta, and Calcutta 
alone, that so much violence and hooliganism were displayed on 
Direct Action Day 

Mr Suhrawardy undertook to shape the course of events m 
Calcutta in a manner calculated to inspire awe in the minds of 
the non-Muslims and to demonstrate to the world at large the 
strength and solidarity of the protagonists of Pakistan As Mimster 
in charge of the portfolio of Law and Order, he made arrange- 
ments for the transfer of Hindu police officers from all key posts 
On August 16, twenty-two police stations out of a total of twenty- 
four were m charge of Muslim officials and the remaining two r 
were controlled by Anglo-Indians The programme for the fateful 
day was taken up with fevensh activity On August 4, a conference 
of the Executive Committees of the Calcutta District and City 
Muslim Leagues and representatives of Branch Leagues, Mohalla 
Sardars and labour workers of Calcutta, Howrah, Hoogly, 
Metiabmz and 24-Parganas was called to consider the matter A 
programme was drawn up and this was later elaborated and given 
the widest publicity m the Muslim Press Leaflets and pamphlets 
over the name of Mr S M Usman, Mayor of Calcutta and 


* The Dm vn, August 17 1946 in its editorial “ Even Now ” 



50 


Stern Reckoning 


Secretary of the Calcutta Muslim League were printed and 

distributed It was announced in the Press that these could be 
obtained free of cost from the Muslim- League Office at 8 Zakan a 
Street Calcutta 

The published programme called for a total hartal and 

complete cessation of business on August 16 To this end 

Mr Suhrawardy s Government declared August 16 a public 
holiday throughout the province There was naturally considerable 
opposition to this proposal and it was said that a public holiday 
would let loose a considerable number of goondas and 

irresponsible characters. An industrial city like Calcutta has a 
large population of miHhands dockyard workers casual labour 
mischief makers and professional agitators whose energies are on 
ordinary days expended in the performance of constructive work. 
To draw them away from their business send them into the streets 
and tell them to agitate was tantamount to unleashing the forces 
of lawlessness and destruction When the matter came up for 
discussion in the Legislative Assembly this fact was pointed out 
to the Ministry Mr Suhrawardy’s Government, however ignored 
the protests of the opposition and disregarding wiser counsels, 
determined to carry on with the prearranged programme. Indeed 
Mr Suhrawardy suggested that the step contemplated was in the 
interests of the people for they would be available to defend 
themselves and their families instead of being away from 
home and leaving their women and children to the mercy of 
the rioters 

The hartal contemplated was to be complete. It was to take 
the form of a general strike in all spheres of civic commercial and 
industrial life In the published programme it was said that the 
essential services of water works, hospitals, physicians clinics 
maternity centres, light electricity gas and postal services would 
continue to function as usual. This exception was however in 
form only for when Direct Action began on August 16 the civic 
life of Ca’cutta was so completely paralysed that the “essential 
services'* found it impossible to function for several days. Non 
Muslims were also exhorted to join the hartal and “ make common 
cause v,ith the League in its fight A mass rally and meeting 
were to be held at the foot of the Ochterlony Monument from 
3 pun. onwards and Mr Suhrawardy was to preside- over it The 
Mayor of Calcutta wanted a million Muslims to congregate in the 



Duect Action Day and After 


51 


maidan and give evidence of their united strength. The programme 
reminded the Muslims of what stuff they were made* 

“ Muslims must remember that it was m Ramzan that the 
Quran was revealed It was in Ramzan that the permission for 
Jehad was granted by Allah It was in Ramzan that the battle 
of Badr, the first open conflict between Islam and Heathenism 
was fought and won by 313 Muslims , and again it was in 
Ramzan that 10,000 under the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca 
and established the kingdom of Heaven and the commonwealth 
of Islam in Arabia The Muslim League is fortunate that it 
is starting its action m this holy month ” 

The leaflets issued by Mr Usman were m the same strain 
An Urdu circular bearing the title “ Manifesto ” contained the 
following exhortation — 

“ Brethren of Islam, 

Please explain this circular to the people of your ilaqa, mohalla, 
m mosques, schools, colleges, clubs, tea-stalls and hotels Ask 
them to awake, arise and unite under the banner of the Muslim 
League and make this hartal a success Assemble at the foot 
of the Ochterlony Monument m processions with the accom- 
paniment of bands at 3 pm Lead the procession with such 
strength and enthusiasm that even the blmd, deaf and dumb 
can appreciate their strength and determination ” 

Another leaflet containing a special prayer for the crusade 
is worth quotmg in full 

“ Munajat for the Jehad 

(To be said at every mosque after the Jumma piayei ) 

It was in this month of Ramzan that the Holy Quran was 
revealed' It was in this month of Ramzan that 313 Muslims 
were victorious through the grace of God over many Kafers 
in the baffle of Badr and the Jehad of the Muslims commenced 1 
It was in this month that ten thousand Muslims marched to 
Mecca and were conquerors and thus there was the establishment 
of the Kingdom of Islam 

By the grace of God we are ten crores m India but through 
bad luck we have become slaves of the Hindus and the British 
We are starting a Jehad in Your Name in this very month 
of Ramzan We promise before You that we entirely depend 
on You Pray make us strong in body and mind — give Your 
helping hand m all our actions — make us victorious over the 



52 


Stern Reckoning 


Kafers — enable us to establish the Kingdom of Islam m India and 
make proper sacrifices for this Jehad — by the grace of God may 
we build up m India the greatest Islamic kingdom in the world 
The M uslims m China Manchuria Mongolia, Malaya Java 
and Sumatra are all fighting for their freedom — pray by Your 
grace they may succeed May You bring freedom to the 
Muslims of Turkey Iran Iraq Albania Arabia Egypt and the 
Sudan and also to the Muslims of Tunis Algiers Morocco 
Africa. May God help us so that Muslims of the world may 
be able to build up a very strong Islamic kingdom m this world 
(Then followed some Arabic quotations from Quran and Hadis.) 
Note — This form of prayer should be kept with care — must 
not be touched with the foot or dishonoured in any way ” 

A Bengali pamphlet Mugur (Club) concluded with a 
passionate appeal 

u The Bombay resolution of the All India Muslim League 
has been broadcast The call to revolt comes to us from 
the Qaid-c Azam of the Muslim leaders. Braves, this is what 
we want This is the policy for the nation of heroes. For so 
long we have been acting like beggars. We are glad from the 
core of our hearts to hear this magnificent news. This is what we 
have been eagerly waiting for God has granted to the Muslims 
in the month of Ramzan what they have been clamouring for 
The day for an open fight which is the greatest desire of the 
Muslim nation has arrived Come those who want to rise to 
heaven. Come those who are simple wanting m peace of mind 
and who are in distress. Those who are thieves goondas 
those without the strength of character and those who do not say 
their prayers — all come (Italics ours.) The shming gates of 
heaven have been opened for you. Let us enter in thousands. 
Let us all cry out victory to Pakistan victoy to the Mulim 
nation and victory to the army which has declared a Jehad. 

A leaflet bearing a picture of Mr Jinn ah with a sword in 
hand said — 


M The sword of Islam must be shining on the heavens and 
will subdue all evil designs. We Muslims have had the 
Crown and have ruled Do not lose heart. Be ready and take 
your swords Think you Muslims, why we arc under the kafirs 
today The result of loving the kafirs is not good O kafir t 



Direct Action Day and After 


53 


general massacre will come We .shall ‘ show our glory with 
swords m hands and will have ' a special victory ” 

Another .leaflet asked the Mushms to come into the arena with 
then* swords and change their tactics “We shall then see who 
will-t play with us, for rivers of blood will flow We shall have the 
swords m our hands and the noise of takbir Tomorrow will be 
doom’s day ” 

41+ 

Tv Tv "7V* 'TV - 

As August 16 approached, the tempo and volume of the 
preparations increased Ward Committee meetmgs were held 
frequently m various Wards of Calcutta Transport for League 
volunteers and Muslim hooligans was arranged Petrol rationmg 
difficulties were overcome by obtaining supplementary coupons 
issued to the Ministers personally just before Direct Action Day A 
large number of regulation lathis and lethal weapons were imported 
In the Bash in Mission Row, Hindu and Muslim cobblers had been 
living m peace and amity Suddenly on August 10, the Hindus 
saw that the Mushms were supplied with lathis, spears and daggers 
This early discovery made them run away and escape to safety 
The goondas and bad characters were mobilized Large numbers 
of them were imported from outside A few days before the due 
date Pathans and suspicious characters were seen prowlmg about 
the streets of Calcutta Mr Kiron Shankar Roy drew the attention 
of the police to this circumstance and warned them that the 
presence of these strange men did not augur well for the peace of 
Calcutta Hundreds of bad characters who were in detention 
during the World War had been released by Government and 
this force with all its destructive power was available to carry out 
the behests of the League agitators 

The League leaders made arrangements to treat any persons 
who might be mjured in the riots Mr Abdul Wahed Choudhuri, 
described as the D G O C , Pakistan Ambulance Corps, was called 
upon to mobilize his men He took steps to open a First Aid 
Centre at Curzon Park near the maidan where the mass rally was 
to be held He further ordered that five First Aid Units must be 
held m reserve and an ambulance car bearing flags with a red 
crescent on a white background should circulate through the city 
on Direct Action Day It was also arranged that every major 
procession should have its own First Aid equipment Two League 
representatives were posted at each of the Medical College 



54 


Stem Reckoning 


Hospitals and also at the Campbell Hospital Representative* 
were to hoM themselves in readiness to go to other hospitals if 
necessity arose It was announced that information about the 
condition of patients could be obtained at the Calcutta office of 
the Pakistan Ambulance Corps. These extensive arrangements 
are indicative not merely of a prudent foresight, but are dear 
proof of the fact that the local League leaden had foreknowledge 
of what would happen on Direct Action Day and had taken steps 
to provide facilities for the treatment of their injured and wounded. 

All kinds of weapons were distributed to the agitators, and 
the Muslim mobs who formed processions early on the morning 
of August 16 and paraded the streets were seen to be armed not only 
with lathis but with spears daggers, hatchets and, m some cases, 
even firearms. The goondas of Howrah were given lathis and other 
weapons through Shanf Khan M Lj\. who was a trusted bench 
man of Mr Suhrawardy Shanf Khan had been previously convicted 
of homicide but was later ejected as a Member of the Legislative 
Assembly because he controlled the goondas of Howrah. 
Mr Usman the Mayor of Calcutta visited Howrah with Shanf 
Khan and mated the people to violent action On Direct Action 
Day a huge procession of Muslims armed with lathis spears, 
daggers etc. left Howrah for Calcutta to attend the meeting at 
the Ochteriony Monument The Control Room at Calcutta was 
not informed of this circumstance At 4-30 pjn this crowd was 
seen returning to Howrah and was stopped by a European Super 
intendent of Police at the bndge They were disarmed and lathis 
spears daggers knives, unbumt torches empty soda water bottles 
tins containing kerosene oil, rags soaked in oil ready for being 
used in setting fire to houses were collected. They filled three 
trucks and were taken to the Golabari Police Station in Howrah. 
They were later shown to Mr Justice Spens, President of the 
Calcutta Disturbances Enquiry Commission. It is impossible to 
believe that these men had come out armed m this manner on their 
own initiative and without any specific instructions having been 
issued to them in this respect 

Events in the political field had in the meantime proceeded 
according to a prearranged plan Negotiations between the 
Viceroy and Mr Nehru for the formation of an Interim Govern 
ment had been started. Mr Jinnah was invited to participate in 
these talks. The Viceroy s latest formula offered five seats out 
of fourteen to the Muslim League and six to the Congress. The 



Dnect Action Day and Aftei 


55 


remaining three were to be filled up by nomination Mr Jinnab 
had already made up his mind, and spumed this offer of more than 
35 per cent League representation m the Central Government 
When it was realized, contrary to expectation, that Mr Jmnah’s 
refusal had failed to bring about the desired deadlock , and the 
negotiations proceeded in the absence of the Muslim League, the 
League leaders gave unrestrained expression to their chagrin 
Mr Suhrawardy immediately raised the standard of rebellion and 
declared that if the Congress were put mjpower he would set up 
an independent and parallel Government in Bengal No part of 
the provmcial revenues would be paid to the Centre and Bengal 
would becbme a separate State having no connection with the rest 
of India On the same day Mr Mohammad Usman, the Mayor of 
Calcutta, told the representative of the Onent Press that Muslima 
m Bengal were fully prepared 

On August 13 it was announced that the Viceroy had invited 
Mr Nehru to form an Interim Government and on the 15th the 
breakdown of negotiations between Mr Jmnah and Mr Nehru 
was made known to the public On the morning of the 16th the 
Dawn brought out a four.-page supplement telling its readers that 
the day for Direct Action had arrived and that “ might alone could 
now secure the right ” of Muslims 

Tr "7 ' T - 

The progress of these events gave rise to grave apprehensions 
in the minds of the Bengal Hindus It was feared that the cele- 
brations of Direct Action Day would inevitably result in extensive 
clashes between the two major communities The desire of the 
Muslim League (as indicated in the published programme) that 
non-Muslims should also join the haital was resented by the other 
political parties The Bengal Provincial Congress Committee 
characterized the demonstration as communal and anti-national 
They took exception to August 16 being declared a public holiday 
and called upon the nation to protest against the prostitution of 
governmental authority in order to secure personal and party aims 
Surendra Mohan Ghosh, President of the Bengal Provincial 
Congress Committee, issued a statement on August 15 advising the 
public to remain peaceful and telling those who did not wish to 
join in the League demonstration to go about their usual business 
A leaflet issued by the Hindu Mahasabha was more categorical 
“ The Hindus and non-Muslims of Bengal are strongly opposed 
to the demand for Pakistan Under the circumstances, to join 



56 


Stem Reckoning 


or to assist in the hartal declared by the Muslim League will 
amount to supporting the Pakistan demand. The Hindus of 
Bengal can never act in this way The League Ministry has bad 
the audacity to declare the day as a public holiday The object 
is obvious By this action they mean to compel the Hindu Gov 
eminent servants to join the hartal The Hindus v^ill have to 
give a clear answer to this act of effrontery It is the duty of 
every Hindu to carry on as usual his normal occupation. The 
Hindus must make organised efforts to sec that no Hindu, non 
Muslim or non League Muslim is forced to jom the hartal We, 
therefore request the public to continue on that day their normal 
work They must not yield to any coercive measures. Remember 
that to ]om the hartal is to support the demand for Pakistan.” 

This leaflet marks a certain amount of stiffening m the Hindu 
attitude towards the League propaganda. 

* * * * 

The police had received secret information that trouble was 
afoot According to the Report of the Commissioner of Police 
on the Calcutta disturbances the information received by the 
Intelligence Department was 

(a) A report that goonda elements among the Muslims might 
create disturbances if non Muslims did not observe the 
hartal and 

(b) a report that instructions had been issued to several 
Muslim hostels to make preparations to set fire to tram 
cars and military lomes on the 16th.* 

There can be no doubt that police information extended much 
further Even the military were not wholly ignorant of the extent 
and nature of the League agitation When giving evidence before 
the Spcns Enquiry Commission Brigadier Sixsmith who was 
then acting as Area Commander said that on August 10 General 
Bucher sent for him and warned him of the possibility of trouble on 
Muslim League Direct Action Day General Bucher advised 
Brigadier Sixsmith to make himself thoroughly conversant with 
arrangements m the area for internal defence and duties m aid 
of the civil power Mr Suhrawardy later denied that any reports 
of “ preparedness on the part of either the Hindus or the Mush ms ” 
were available but it was in view of these warnings and fears that 


of Comc M oPg of Pobce on Che dwrbinc* ind aetka die* br 
the CiiciXti Poticc bevtern the 16th tod 2WS c< A**™1 19+5 tnetatfre, mWhhed by tb* 
Q Oi emmrnt of Hoate De-pcrtrnrmt (Toftac*!} fa L946. 



Direct Action Day and Aftei 


57 


the Commissioner of Police issued orders to the whole police force 
on August 15 to “take emergency action” This entailed the 
establishment of a Control Room at Police Headquarters where 
information of disturbances from all parts of the city could be 
received and classified, and correlated mobilization at Headquarters 
•of all Inspectors and Sergeants, of all available constables from the 
Reserve Force Further, all Inspectors and Sergeants of Security 
Control and the Public Vehicles Department, the Traffic Police and 
all Armed Police, not engaged m essential duties, were to hold 
themselves in readiness 

■ft-#* 

Such were the hopes and expectations, the fears and fore- 
bodings which possessed the citizens of Calcutta when they 
retired to rest on the evening of August 15 The night brought 
little rest to many of them and, shortly after dawn, a feverish 
activity began to spread throughout the vast city The skies were 
dark and lowering, but rain held off till the evening, and any 
slight discouragement that the inclemency of the monsoon weather 
might have provided was spared the League demonstrators Unruly 
crowds, numbering at first not more than fifty or sixty, carrying 
flags and banners and armed with sticks, daggers, spears and 
hatchets began roaming about the mam streets They were 
shouting slogans and inviting their Muslim brethren to join them 
As their numbers swelled they became bolder and more provo- 
cative Whenever they saw an open shop they ordered the owner 
to close it at once If this peremptory demand was not complied 
•with immediately, the shop-keeper was beaten and his goods were 
looted or thrown out mto the street The unfortunate victims 
were almost invariably Hmdus for all Muslim shops were observ- 
ing hartal Anyone seen cycling or motoring was stopped and 
told to walk If he showed reluctance or offered resistance he 
was assaulted and the tyres of his vehicle were deflated The 
transport services had suspended busmess and no trams or buses 
were running , taxis were off the roads, and apart from a few 
individuals whose ignorance or hardihood had brought them out, 
the only vehicles to be^een were Muslim League lomes or jeeps 
These, laden with arnpd hooligans, shoutmg League slogans, went 
.about the streets freely, encouraging the mobs or issuing directions 
The privilege 'of free movement enjoyed by them indicated a well- 
laid p’an and their numbers evidenced the extent of the League 
resources 



58 


Stem Reckoning 


As early as 6 a.m. reports began to pour into the Police 
Control Room. The eleven telephones installed in two separate 
rooms rang so frequently and brought forth so many tales of 
distress so many calls for help and such a stream of appeals for 
rescue that it was impossible to keep even a brief record of the 
countless messages received The Police Deputy Commissioner 
Headquarters himself received over 1,200 such messages It was 
impossible to maintain accurate figures of the crimes committed 
during the first four days of this bloody fight or to send assistance 
where it was needed most The resources of the Calcutta Poke© 
were quite unequal to the magnitude of the task involved. The 
availabe police force was both insufficient and inadequate to- 
cope with the nature and the extent of the disturbances which 
held the life of the city m a murderous grip There can how- 
ever be no doubt that the criminal apathy of the police officials 
and the failure of those in authority to deploy the available forces- 
to the best advantage were mainly responsible for the holocaust 
which followed. For two days the police were almost completely 
inactive or evasive Appeals for assistance were answered with 
We have no orders.” Policemen stood watching the burning 
and looting of houses with ca m indifference. A house opposite 
a Traffic Outpost where over a hundred police officers were pre- 
sent was completely ransacked. The Maffick Bazaar was looted 
by a mob of hooligans who ran about displaying their booty wPb 
a great show of exultant joy Police guards joined the looters 
m this meny making Mr Fazlol Haq speakmg on the no 
confidence motion m the Legislative Assembly comp amed 
bitterly of police attitude during the first two days of the riots 
He could not get mto touch with the police officers or secure 
their assistance.* There were numerous complaints of deliberate 
inaction on the part of subordina e police officials of a number 
of thanns Timely action In disarming the no‘oua mobs in the 
morning could perhaps have averted ienous trouble but once 
the assaults and clashes began the situation was competely out 
of hand and only a determined action by a largo military force 
could save the ci*y Unfortunately the military was not called 
until the evening of the 17th and by that time a great deal or 
irreparable damage had been done. For a day and a half the 


Mr r irtol ll*q 111W Cw no-confidence norfoa Uj r-« er cb contained 

«rnc* on Mr 5obn»in3y‘i ctofmmdoo. Set Note (TT) to Ctnrter II hr 
Apocrrii l (or enracu (ro« Cn ^c ec faet o( Ilaui. FuJol lUa ErW rcndn Nartrta 
MaVhrrfl 



Direct Action Day and After 


59 


Muslim rioters held their own The tide of the battle then began 
to turn and Hindus and Sikhs began to hit back It was only 
when tins change began to spell disaster for the Muslims, that 
military assistance was summoned It was mentioned before the 
Spens Enquiry Commission that the Civil authorises had been 
guilty of gross dere iction of, duty in fading to call m the military 
on the afternoon of the 16th when the situation had deteriorated 
to such an extent that the police were quite unabe to deal with 
it It was said that, in the February riots of the same year, the 
mditary had been called m at once To add to the embarrassment 
of the Police Chiefs, Mr Suhrawardy arrived m the Control Room 
and established himself there for the space of several hours He 
received messages, gave verbal directions, issued written instruc- 
tions or orders, scribbled on scraps of paper, talked to the Police 
Heads, overrode the decisions made by them, received visitors, 
discussed the political events with them and generally interrupted 
the vital busmess of those in charge of the Control Room He 
ordered that special protection should be given to all mosques and 
that police pickets should be posted at each one of them , but 
nothing was to be done to safeguard the inmates, sanctity or 
property of any Hmdu shrine He assured the Commissioner of 
Police that the situation would improve after he had addressed 
the gathering m the maidan He would tell the Muslims to go 
home quietly and they would obey him When his eloquence 
failed to soothe the frenzied masses and produce the calm he 
could not have hoped for, he returned to the Control Room and 
contmued his mischievous activities Towards evening Inspector 
Wade, on patrol with a lorry detachment, arrested eight Muslims 
for looting m Malhck Bazaar Market Some of the looters were 
wearmg Red Cross bands to give them immunity from pohce 
action The arrested persons and a lorry in which the looted 
goods were being stocked were taken to the Park Street Police 
Station Shortly afterwards Mr Suhrawardy arrived at the police 
station and ordered the immediate release of the miscreants on 
his personal responsibility * The same evening he reported that 
firearms had been used against Muslim passers-by by Messrs Lai 
Chand and Sons, Ammunition Dealers The Additional Deputy 
Commissioner, Security Control, at once went to the spot to 

* This incident was refer-ed to in the Assembly debate which took place in the month 
of September Dr Shjama Prasad Mookerjce accused the Premier of having set at liberty 
goondos who had been caught red handed looting property Mr Suhrawardy retorted that 
Dr Shyam3 P-asad Mookerjee himself was a goonda He later admitted having ordered the 
release of these men 


60 


Stern Reckoning 


investigate. He found that this complaint was false and on his 
return reported that a Muslim mob had attacked the shop and 
attempted to set fire to it Messrs Lai Chand and Sons 
complained that they had sent a message to the police station 
asking for help but their appeal had been disregarded. The Chief 
Minister’s presence and conduct m the Control Room were a 
serious impediment to the work of the Police and Army chiefs 
and a complaint to this effect was made to His Excellency the 
Governor A desire was expressed that Mr Suhrawardy should 
keep away from the Control Room. 

* • • * 

It is impossible to give a complete and accurate picture of 
the Great Calcutta Killing as it came to be called. The reports 
received by the police were not always true. The noise of a 
disturbance m the next street, the shouting of slogans from a 
passing lorry or the sight of an approaching mob frequently lent 
substance to an imaginary fear and spread panic through a whole 
street and messages of an actual attack having taken place were 
sent to the Control Room. On the other hand, hundreds of 
incidents some of them the most tcmble went unreported, 
because the blow fell before anyone could communicate to the 
authorities or because the injury sustained was past all redress. 
The local police were in some cases unsympathetic. One police 
station shut its doors against all appeals for help When the 
Commissioner of Police arrived he found the premises closed and 
the gate barred Hundreds of messages received could not be 
recorded and were completely forgotten. Rumours of all kinds 
based partly on hearsay but largely on the imagination of the 
speaker were accepted as true by a credulous people. Things un 
precedented in the whole history of communal warfare were 
happening all over Calcutta and nothing was beyond belief. The 
newspaper reporters went round the city under aimed protection 
and tried to give accurate accounts of what they saw but they 
could not be everywhere at the same tame and they could not 
enter the worst affected areas The Commissioner of Police 
drew up an official report based on information conveyed to the 
police and this document Is a long and sordid catalogue of crime 
and human passions at their basest but it does not pretend to be 
complete. It reads like the defence plea of a person accused of 
neglecting ha duty The Spens Enquiry Commission heard a 
great deal of evidence and brought to light many things bat it 



Duett Action Day and After 


61 


was not allowed to conclude its labours and the hearing 
was brought to an abrupt end by an order of the League Ministry 
who expressed the opinion that further progress of the 
Enquiry was likely to exacerbate communal feelings Some people 
held the view that the Enquiry had brought forth a great deal of 
incriminating matter not very palatable to the Chief Minister and 
his colleagues 

It is not our business here to give full and complete details 
of the horrible events transacted in Calcutta during these days 
Such an undertaking is neither possible nor within the scope of 
this book There is nothing that distinguishes the looting and 
burning of a shop in one street from the looting and burning of 
another shop in another street One case of stabbing is very 
like another The frenzied mobs behaved m very much the same 
way in different parts of Calcutta For individual details the 
reader is referred to a study of the Police Commissioner’s Report 
and the proceedings of the Spens Enquiry Commission It will 
suffice to give in these pages a general outline of the over- 
all picture and mention a few of the more important incidents 

Reference has already been made to the forcible closing of 
Hindu shops as the immediate exciting cause of the disturbances 
All over Calcutta Muslim crowds demanded the closure of non- 
Muslim shops If the slightest resistance was offered the shop 
was looted and burnt Very soon the crowds began to break 
open closed shops and loot them It is significant that many 
Muslim shops had been marked in chalk with “Mussalman shop 
— Pakistan ” to save them from the attentions of the mob and 
this circumstance was mentioned as proving a previous plan to 
loot all non-Muslim shops The Muslim League demonstrators 
soon came into clash with Hmdu crowds, and general noting of a 
most fierce type broke out in all parts of Calcutta The houses 
of prominent Hindus and Congressmen became a special target 
of the Muslim fury The house of Dr B C Roy,* Congress 
leader, was attacked and set on fire The son-in-law of Mr Kiron 
Shankar Roy, leader of the Bengal Congress Parliamentary Party, 
was stabbed The office of the Bengal Provincial Congress 
Committee was heavily stoned The offices of the News Editor 
of Hindusthan Standard and the Ananda Bazar Patrika were 
attacked and attempts were made to set fire to the buildings 


* The present Premier of the Province of West Bengal 



62 


Stem Reckoning 


Five garages in Mechu bazar Street were broken open and set on 
fire. In the Central Avenue a crowd was observed standing 
round a number of cars Ope of thqse had already been set on 
fire when the police arrived. The fires in Amherst Street section 
were reported to be very severe In the area of Shampukur 
Police Station several lomes, full of Muslims and loaded with tins 
of petrol were sera moving about A house m Tara Chand Dutt 
Street was burnt and it was still on fire on the following day The 
Park Street Police saw a large mob of Muslims carrying sticks 
with kerosene soaked rags attached to them. From a house in 
Umadas Lane the police recovered a quantity of kerosene soaked 
rags two bottles of nitric acid and a number of soda water bottles 
and battle axes. The house belonged to a Muslim and two 
Muslims were arrested from the promises The Regent Cinema 
was set on fire On August 17 Inspector Kinchin found a crowd 
of Muslims with blazmg torches setting fire to the huts near 
Manjcktola Bridge The Fire Brigade found it extremely difficult 
to control these fires because of persistent interference by the 
Muslim crowds The fire engines could only go about with 
armed escorts but even so they could not always perform their 
task It was found that several hydrants had been opened by the 
rioters and the consequent decrease in the water pressure created 
further difficulties. 

The house of Mr D L Dutt Presidency Magistrate was 
attacked. Even Muslims who were known to be supporters of 
the Congress were not spared. The residence of Syed Nausher 
Ah former Speaker of the Bengal Legislative Assembly was 
attacked bv a mob on the afternoon of the 16th. Police help was 
sent and Syed Nausher Ah informed Inspector Kinchin that he 
had been flying Congress colours from his house and local Mus 
Inns had taken exception to it. They wanted to take down the 
Congress flag and fly the Muslim League flag in its place. There 
was frequent interference with police lomes In at least one 
ms to nee the police were seen to be taking part m the looting On 
receiving a report of looting in Wellesley Street the Deputy Com 
missioner Special Branch went to the spot m a jeep with two 
orderlies and a Sergeant Major armed with tommy guns “Arriv 
mg at the shop of Sen Law 8 on the comer of Royd Street and 
Wellesley Street, the Deputy Commissioner found it was being 
looted by a mixed mob of Anglo-Indians and Indians. Outside 
stood an empty police weapon-earner and inside the Deputy 
Commissioner reports having found three Police Sergeants 



Direct Action Day and After 


63 


passively watching the looters and taking no preventive action * 
The crowd was driven away but as soon as the Deputy Commis- 
sioner. Special Branch, moved away, the looters again entered the 
shop 

A number of temples were attacked and burnt down Among 
these was the Radhaknshna Temple on Cornwallis Road and the 
Sitla Temple m College Street The Science College and the Hindu 
houses in its neighbourhood were persistently attacked for several 
hours A mob of Muslim hooligans entered the Carmichael 
Medical College and began to threaten patients and nurses An 
attack was made on the Medical College Hostel in the jurisdiction 
of Jorasanko Police Station A number of cars and lorries, marked 
with the Red Cross or flying Red Cross flags, were going about 
killing people and looting shops The looting and killing went 
on continuously for forty hours in some localities and this sus- 
tained energy of the fanatical mobs was an astonishing feature 
of the riots The streets were strewn with dead bodies and the 
corpses lay thus for several days giving out a foul stench The 
task of disposing of the corpses seemed at first impossible because 
there was no one to carry them away and bury or cremate them 
The domes who usually perform this work had run away and their 
bustees were found to be deserted Dozens of dead bodies were 
pushed down manholes and obstructed the sewage of the city 
Dead bodies were seen floating in the river A number of boats 
had been burnt and sunk and the boatmen were killed or drowned. 
Bodies lay m houses where they had been done to death' There 
were stories of children having been hurled down from the roofs 
of houses Young children were reported to have been boiled in 
oil Others were burnt alive Women were raped and mutilated 
and then murdered A number of hooligans were seen going 
about the streets, robbing the pockets of dead men On the other 
hand, there were many instances of Muslims givmg protection to 
Hindus and Hindus giving protection to Muslims At Tiretta 
Bazar the police found three Hindus m the house of Muslims who 
had given shelter to them On the evening of August 18 four 
Sikhs went to the Police Headquarters and stated that they had 
hidden a number of threatened Muslims m their house and 
requested that the Muslims be removed so that the Sikhs might 
not be victimized The police took a prison van to the house and 
evacuated fifteen male Muslims from the Sikhs’ quarters 


* Report of the Commissioner o£ Police 



64 


Stem Reckoning 


For four terrible days this massacre and brutality continued 
unabated During this time the life of the city was completely 
paralysed. Hospitals were full of patients and streams of injured 
men continued to pour m The Lake Hospital recently vacated 
by the United States Army was taken over and a number of 
patients were accommodated there. It was however impossible 
to cope with the number of injured persons and the medical 
arrangements all but broke down The problem of feeding the 
patients and thousands of refugees who had crowded in the hos- 
pital compounds was a formidable one. Students and doctors 
hving outside the hospitals m hostels, sought shelter in hospital 
buildings and they had to be fed. The total admissions according 
to the Report of the Surgeon-General, were well over four thou- 
sand Of these some had been brought in dead while others died 
in hospital 

The rescue of persons m dangerous localities was another 
serious problem. Once the disturbances began, Muslims Jiving In 
Hindu majority areas and Hindus living in Muslim majority areas 
wanted to be evacuated They did not dare to venture out without 
proper escort Rescue Squads were organized but the transport 
available was quite inadequate to cope with the demand. It is 
estimated that over thirty thousand people were moved before 
the end of the fourth day of the riots Thousands more left the 
city of their own accord although this was not easy as the train 
services had been completely disorganized. The newspaper 
reporters estimated an exodus of a hundred thousand persons 
from Calcutta. 

Food and sanitation arrangements were completely upset. 
Many gram ration shops were looted and for four days it was 
almost impossible to maintain supplies in the city Although 
there was no interference with the filtered water-supply the 
unfiltered water-supply for sanitary fittmgs was interrupted in 
certain sections of the city owing to the low water pressure in the 
mains because the hydrants were left open by the people. Garbage 
and rubbish went on piling up in the streets as the Corporation 
Conservancy Staff did not report for duty Bleaching powder was 
ipnnkled by military Iomes on the rubbish heaps and human and 
animal corpses, but for days the stench of the dty was unbearable. 

Until August 18 nothing could be done to remove the dead 
bodies from the streets. The Government then gave consideration 
to this matter and, with the assistance of the Anjuman Mofldul 
Islam and the Hindu Satkar Samlti, began to tackle the problem 



Diud Admit I)a\ anti Alter 


65 


It was decided that .dl bodies dealt by the Government Organi- 
7ation should be buried A small force of sixteen dome s was 
requisitioned and this proceeded to pick up the dead bodies at 
9 pm on the 1 Sih 'I he doim \ worked through the night and 
lorries, loaded with dead bodies, were taken to the Bagman 
Ccmctcrx Ike approach to the gra\cs w-as loo narrow for the 
lorries and the dead bodies had to be transferred to hand-carts 
and wheeled for ne.irh a quarter of a mile The domes w'crc now 
tired out and the dead bodies had to be left unbuned The next 
day the work was resumed and. with the assistance of Mr Justice 
Sharpe and Mr Justice Hmdlcy of the Calcutta High Court, who 
xoluntccred for this extremely unpleasant work, a number of 
boJics were buried Some Anglo-Indians later came forward to 
handle the dead bodies on payment It was learnt that domes 
would be more walling to w'ork w'hcn stimulated by a country 
liquor knowm as pnelapnm This was provided and the work of 
disposing of the dead bodies proceeded Corpses w r crc recovered 
from streets, houses, temples, mosques, manholes, the river 
and the canals and buried in large trenches The Hindu Satkar 
Samiti cremated over a thousand bodies By the 27th almost all 
the dead bodies had been disposed of High Government officials 
including two High Court Judges already named, Mr Mitra of 
the Indian Civil Service, Mr Auden of the Geological Survey, Mr 
Hodge of the B A Raihvay, worked for hours at a stretch, in an 
overpowering stench, to accomplish this task But for paglapam 
and liberal payment to the domes, beer and high wages to the 
Anglo-Indians who handled the corpses, this work could not have 
been performed The following table gives the number of dead 
bodies collected and disposed of 1 


By Government Organization 

1,182 

By Anjuman Mofidul Islam 

761 

By Hindu Satkar Samiti 

1,230 


Total . 3,173 


This figure does not represent the total number of deaths 
caused m the riots Many dead bodies were burnt m houses, 
many others floated down the river to the sea The loss of pro- 
perty by arson and looting was estimated at several crores 
Accurate figures are not available but an examination of the indi- 
vidual reports submitted by Fire officers who supervised action 



66 


Stern Reckoning 


at the various fires shows that the ownership of the various 
properties which suffered from arson is in the foDowing ratio 

(a) Hindu ownership 7x5 per cent 

(b) Muslim ownership 20 per cent 

(c) Ownership either jomt Hindu /Muslim 

not known European or Government 15 per cent* 

Comparative figures of persons wounded or killed in the 
course of the riots are not available The report of the Surgeon 
General based on the admissions to the various hospitals is to the 
following effect 


A Classified 

A dm Is 
stons 

Brought 
in dead 

D at is 

Hindus 

2$22 

11 

151 

Muslims 

1 832 

12 

138 

Others 

222 

11 

62 

B Unclassified 




Brought in dead 



174 

Deaths 



11 

These figures give a 

total of 570 dead 

only It is estimated 


that more than five thousand persons were killed and more than 
fifteen thousand injured and if the hospital figures are accepted 
as a basis for determining the ratio of the Muslim and Hindu 
casualties it will be clear that the Muslims fared almost as badly 
the Hindus When this circumstance came to light the Muslim 
League leaders and the Muslim League Press asserted vehemently 
that the noting was started by the supporters of the Congress and 
some of them even went so far as to say that the Hindus had 
prepared a deeply laid plan to commit wholesale murder of Mus- 
lims on Direct Action Day m order to discredit the Muslim 
League On the other hand it was said that the Muslims had an 
efficient transport and ambulance corps and all their dead and 
injured were taken to hospital while Hindu dead bodies were for 
the most part burnt or destroyed and therefore did not figure in 
the official statistics 

# • # # 

It is convenient here to anticipate the chronology of events 
and say a few words about what happened in Calcutta during the 
following twelve months Complete peace did not return to the 


lepon Of H* ComwktkwT of *''**'- 



Direct Action Day and After 67 

city even after the fury of these four days was over There were 
days on which no incidents took place Then followed days and 
weeks during which stray and sporadic assaults were reported 
from different quarters of the city On some days there were as 
many as ten murders Muslims and non-Muslims both took part 
m these criminal acts In the beginning of August 1947, when 
the partition of the province was imminent and the Government 
of the future East Bengal was ready to leave Calcutta, attacks 
on Muslims increased Calcutta appeared to be on the verge of 
another catastrophe similar to the one m which it had been 
plunged a year previously Mahatma Gandhi then came to the 
rescue and decided to live m Calcutta until peace was restored. 
Accompanied by Mr Suhrawardy, he took up his residence in the 
house of a Muslim and, braving the anger of the Hindus, began 
to preach his gospel of non-violence On one occasion a Hindu 
mob attacked the house m which he was living and a lathi was 
actually thrown at him He stood his ground undaunted and his 
courage worked a veritable miracle m Calcutta Sanity returned 
to the people and on August 15, when the independence of India 
was celebrated m the city, Hindus and Muslims joined hands as 
brothers and went through the streets shouting “ Hindu-Mushm 
ek ho ” 


(n) 

The results of the Calcutta episode did not, in the ultimate 
analysis, prove very gratifying to the Muslim League leaders The 
Hindus suffered grievously both m life and in property Large 
numbers of them left their habitation and migrated to the neigh- 
bouring districts of West Bengal and Bihar The exhibition of 
Muslim strength and solidarity had, however, failed to intimidate 
the non-Muslims A large number of Muslims was killed or 
wbunded and the damage to Muslim property was not inconsider- 
able This was not what Mr Suhrawardy or Mr Usman had 
hoped for or anticipated It was small consolation to lay the 
entire responsibility of the tragic events on the shoulders of the 
Congress It was clear that Direct Action Day plans had mis- 
carried and some vindication of this disastrous failure was 
necessary The passions aroused in Calcutta found a more satis- 
fying release in the district of Noakhali where Maulvi Ghulam 
Sarwar, an ex-MLA and a religious Pir, succeeded m working 
up the Muslim passions by spreadmg grossly exaggerated stories 
of what had happened m Calcutta In that city stray assaults 



68 


Stem Reckoning 


had continued after August 20 On September 2, the day on 
which the Congress Interim Government assumed office noting 
broke out rn the Muslim quarters in the city of Bombay and 
continued for several days taking a toll of over two hundred 
killed and nearly a thousand injured On September 5 the papers 
reported recrudescence of trouble at Calcutta and, during the 
weeks that followed the tension showed no signs of easing Then 
in the beginning of October Noakhali and Tippera were m flames. 

* * # # 

The district of Noakhali is a narrow stnp of land 55 miles 
long and 22 miles broad, lying along the Bay of Bengal It also 
includes a number of small islands situated m the Bay Tippera 
lies to the north of Noakhali The two districts are flanked by 
nvers and numerous streams flow through them Towards the 
end of the monsoon communications present serious difficulties 
and, in some parts means of transport are restricted to small 
country boats which proceed along the hyacinth-covered water 
ways at the rate of one mile per hour Travelling on foot in these 
areas is more speedy and often more convenient. A few roads 
also serve the two districts but when disturbances broke out the 
roads were breached m several places and some bridges were 
destroyed. The passage of cars and lorries was thus almost 
completey stopped It is therefore not surprising that for some 
days no news of the great upheaval reached the outside world and 
it was not till October 14 that Calcutta heard of anything wrong 
or unusual occurring in Noakhali By that date a groat deal had 
happened Hundreds of murders had been committed thousands 
of women had been dishonoured and earned away or compelled 
to marry Muslims Whole villages had been burnt down and 
razed to the ground Almost the entire Hindu population of the 
distnct had been robbed of all they possessed and then forcibly 
converted to Islam. 

Anti Hindu propaganda was started in Noakhali towards the 
end of August Meetings were held throughout the distnct on 
August 29 which was the occasion of the Id festival. Rumours 
were spread through the district that bauds of armed Sikhs bad 
been imported from outside with the object of assaulting 
and murdering Muslims. The Maulvis in their waaz (sermon) 
preached hatred against the non Muslims and warned the 
Muslims to be on their guard Soon afterwards looting of 
Hindu shops and houses In various parts of the district began. 



Direct Action Dav and After 


69 


Temples were desecrated and idols were broken. There were a 
few eases of forcible conversion In the beginning of September 
Pir Ghulam Sarwar took a hand Tins gentleman was originally 
opposed to the Muslim League and had openly disapproved of 
the hartal of August 16 He. however, joined the Muslim 
League in the first week of September and at once began to use 
all the influence at Ins command m disseminating unrest among 
his followers He addressed large audiences and exhorted them to 
avenge the massacre of Muslims in Ca'cutta He threatened 
po'icc officers and told them to doctor the reports of his 
utterances When the Puja festival drew near, Hindus traveling 
by boat were held up and deprived of their ornaments and valu- 
ables Some dacoitics were committed in Hindu houses in a 
number of villages in the district There were reports of buffaloes 
being butchered in public near mosques and other places 
Mr Haran Chandra Ghosh Chowdhury, speaking on an adjourn- 
ment motion m the Bengal Legislative Assembly on February 6. 
mentioned a number of incidents which look place between 
August 29 and October 10 

“Debi Prasanna Gulia of Babupur was murdered on the Id 
day and the Congress office m front of his house was burnt to 
ashes , one of his brothers and a servant were also assaulted 

“ While fishing in the Feny River, a group of fishermen were 
attacked with deadly weapons resulting m the death of one and 
serious injuries to two others 

“ Chandra Kumar Karmakar of Monpura was murdered near 
Jamalpur on the Id day 

“ Jamini Dey, a servant of the hotel, while proceeding to 
Ghoshbag on the Id day, was murdered on the way A dead body 
m a decomposed condition with his clothes was found later 

“ Nine fishermen of Charunah, less than a mile from the 
town, were seriously assaulted with deadly weapons Seven of 
them were admitted into hospital They were prevented from 
commg out and lodging any complaint with the police 

“ Shops of Kammi Kumar Paul and Jadav Chandra Saha were 
looted at Chandraganj and Jadav Chandra Saha was beaten 

“Hindu shops of Koresh Munshi Hat m Fern Sub-division 
were looted 

“ Three boats full of clothes were looted at Bholakot 



70 


Stem Reckoning 


“Temple of the family die;ty of Harcndra Ghose of Rajpnr 
wns desecrated by butchering a calf and throwing it inside the 
temple. 

“ Shiva Temple of Dr Jadunath Majumdar of Chandipur was 
similarly desecrated. 

** Family deihes of Nagendra Majumdar and Rajkumar 
Choudhury of Dadpor were desecrated and stolen. 

44 Many Hindu shops and two pharmacies of kankirhat were 
looted. 

“AD the properties of six or seven families of Kanur Char 
were looted. 

A gang armed with deadly weapons entered the house of 
Jadav Mojumdar of Karpara. asaulted Naknl Mojumdar and 
looted properties worth Rs. 1,500 

M Hindu shopkeepers of Tajmohamnmd Hat were victimised 
and driven away 

“ Some Hindu shops of Shahapur Bazar were looted. 

“ Ashu Sen of Debsmgpur was severely beaten near Tajumi 
arhat at Char Parbati. 

“ House of Sj Prasanna Mohan Chakra vorty B.L. at Tatar 
khil was looted and Durga image was broken. A buffalo was 
butchered. 

“ Rajkumar Choudhury of Bansp^ra was brutally assaulted 
on his way home 

“ Durga images of Sj Iswar Chandra Pathak, Kethun, 
Sj Kedareswar Chakra vorty of Merkachar and Sj Ananta Kumar 
De of Angrapara were also broken 

“Houses of Nflbin Chandra Nath of Mirahpur and of Rad ha 
charan Nath of Latipur were raided. Nobm Chandra and Radha 
Charan and five members of his family were injured 

“ Shop of Subal Chandra Banih of Nandanpur was looted at 
Sonapur Bazar ” 

The total population of the distnct is twenty two lakhs of 
which 80 per cent are Muslims. The Hindu minority found itself 
completely helpless. Many of them did not dare to lodge any 
corap aint with the police for fear of further oppression and 
harassment. Some complainants were actually harassed and 
assaulted because they had had the temerity to report against the 
Muslims. The disturbances spread and increased id intensity at 



Direct Action Day and After 


71 


a rapid rale and, in the beginning of October, Muslim mobs began 
attacking Hindu houses on the pretext of searching for Sikh and 
Hindu noonday who were alleged to have been brought to Noakhah 
for the purpose of attacking Muslims Another method adop'cd 
was to make demands for large sums of money in order to relieve 
the sufferings of the Calcutta Muslims In some eases, as much as 
a thousand rupees were demanded from an individual The 
demand was almost invariably fol owed by looting and burning 
A school mas'er of Khilpara stated that his house was attacked in 
this manner by seven different gangs each numbering about three 
hundred or four hundred All images and sacred pictures were 
desecrated and smashed and he and his family were then forcibly 
converted to Islam This is typical of what was happening all 
over the district of Noakhah A crowd of Muslims drawn from a 
number of con'iguous villages would proceed to a chosen vi lage, 
loot and burn all the Hindu houses and then convert the non- 
Muslim population to Islam cn masse, on pain of death They 
would carry away the womenfolk and give them m marriage to 
Muslims It was estimated that at least 95 per cent of the non- 
Muslim population of Noakhah District was, in this manner, 
converted to Islam and their women dishonoured The converted 
persons were made to read kahna, s’aughtcr cows and cat their 
flesh The conch-shell bangles of the women were broken and the 
sandhoor mark was removed before they were made to marry into 
Muslim families The converted persons were given Muslim dress 
to wear including caps printed with League flags, a map of Pakistan 
and the slogan “ Pakistan Zmdabad ” Thousands of these caps 
had been imported into the district and distributed in the various 
villages It is astonishing how the enormous quantity of clofli used 
in the manufacture of these caps was obtained m those days of 
strict cloth control 

On October 10, the Lakshmi Puja Day, a meeting was held at 
the Sabapur English High School and this meeting was attended 
by about fifteen thousand Muslims Pir Ghulam Sarwar exhorted 
the Muslims to attack the kutchery ban of Babu Surendra Nath 
Bose, Zemindar of Narayanpur, and the house of Rai Sahib 
Rajendra Lai Roy Chowdhury of Karapra Immediately after this 
the Hindu shops in Sahapur Bazar were burnt down by the mob 
in the presence of the Sub-Inspector of Po'ice The mob then 
attacked Narayanpur Kutchery and set fire to it When the house 
was in flames Surendra Babu jumped down from the first floor and 



72 


Stem Reckoning 


fell in front of the Muslim mass who immediately set upon him 
and hacked hnn to pieces. They then threw the pieces mto the 
flames and presented the head to the Pit Sahib who was standing 
at a short distance. The house of Rajendra Babu was then attacked 
and set fire to The inmates climbed up to the roof and some of 
the hooligans fired shots at them. The unfortunate victims took 
shelter behind the garret A portion of the roof collapsed and 
some of them fell mto the flames and lost their lives. A number 
of hooligans cut down a taD coconut tree and, using it as- a ladder 
dim bed on to the roof “One by one the male inmates were 
brought down and mercilessly butchered on the spot The female 
inmates were brought down and cordoned off and taken to the Pit 
Sahib who was waiting in a boat at a distance. He ordered them to 
be taken to some other house The heads of Rajendra Babu and 
some others were reported to have been presented to the Pit Sahib 
Thirty four persons, including about half a dozen unknown figures 
were killed on the spot” * 

The trouble m Noakhah spread to the neighbouring district of 
Ttppera where too the same methods of looting, burning and 
converting the non Muslims were adopted. The number of murders 
was not very large Estimates vary between 250 and 5 000 There 
is no satisfactory evidence on this point and an I CS officer of the 
Bengal Government who went to investigate local conditions 
reported that about 250 persons only had been killed. This figure 
is ccrtamly an understatement, but the indications are that the loss 
of life m Noakhah and Tippers was not considerable. The atm 
of the Noakhah Muslims was to terrorize the Hindus dishonour 
their women, plunder their property desecrate their gods and 
convert them to Islam. 

Footpaths and roads leading to villages were watched by 
Muslim hooligans and the egress and ingress of everyone was 
stopped A party of Government officials proceeding to Haem char 
Bazar by boat found their pro gress arrested by a barricade across 
the stream, buffi of banana trees and water hyacinth. They had to 
cut a channel through this bamer It was observed that a number 
of small Muslim boys were watching the scene and when they saw 
the boat approach they gave warning to someone who could not 
be seen. The police were either indifferent or helpless. Condi 
tkms in the thana of Raypur in the district of Noakhah were 


of tfc* »e*«il UrfUxJtrt AmkoUi Prtrwr 1*47 



Direct Action Day and Aftei 


73 


appalling When the disturbances began all Hindus of Raypur 
left their homes and took refuge m the thana A mob of Muslims 
arrived and demanded that all male Hindus should be handed over 
for conversion The police officer m charge of the thana immedi- 
ately complied with this demand although he had a number of 
muskets with him The result was that all these males were 
dragged away by the mob and converted to Islam A prominent 
Brahmin merchant was murdered m the thana compound A few 
days later when a Government official specially sent by the Bengal 
Government arrived at Raypur he found that the non-Muslim pub- 
lic had lost all confidence, and even m the thana compound Hindus 
were afraid to wear their own clothes and were obliged to walk 
about m Muslim dress Hundreds of written complaints were made 
to the police but on very few of them was any action taken In 
the police station of Ramgunje 777 complaints had been lodged 
upto November 3 and, although each complaint named between 
two and ten accused persons, the police had arrested only fifty-four 
individuals Within two miles of the police station resided two 
Muslim ringleaders who had been named in several complaints 
Both of them were gun licence-holders The police did not arrest 
them or apply for the cancellation of their licences The state of 
affairs in the other police stations was no better Hundreds of 
Muslims accused of very serious offences were not arrested or, when 
arrested, were released on bail m small amounts It was said that 
the whereabouts of Maulvi Ghulam Sarwar were not known 
although he went about the district freely, disseminating Ins poison 
among receptive fanatics On the other hand, a number of 
counter-cases agamst Hindus were registered and the police showed 
extraordinary zeal m prosecuting them There were some cases 
even agamst police officials and military men who had tried to 
quell the riots, and complaints were made that these cases hampered 
the work of the police and the army The raiders were frequently 
helped by ex-servicemen who had experience of blowing up bridges 
and roads In some cases of arson stirrup-pumps were used to 
spray the houses With petrol or kerosene' The damage done to 
Hindu houses was so complete that m affected villages hardly a 
single Hindu house stood The disturbances began on a mass 
scale on October 10 and spread through Noakhah and Tippera 
during the following days On the 13th and 14th the noting 
reached its peak and then began to decrease gradually Normal 
conditions were not, however, restored for a considerable time as 



74 Stem Reckoning 

non Muslims found it impossible to go back to tbcir homes and 
live peacefully 

During the disturbances the districts were visited by 
Acbarya Knpalam, President of the Congress, He flew over some 
of the affected area on October 19 and remained touring m the dis- 
trict until the 26th. On his way to Comilla on the morning of the 
19th be flew very low over tbc area north of Bcgumganj and 
Cbitansi and saw bouses burning m ten or fifteen villages. On the 
20th he again flew over Noakhali and saw fresh fires burning in 
Fandganj Raypur Chandpur and Ramgunjc areas. In Charham 
village he found that every non Muslim bouse was completely 
devastated Hindu houses had been burnt down and looted of all 
movables including ornaments utensils clothes and food grains. 
The cattle had been driven away In Khalpara and Hi para all 
Hindu shops had been looted and League flags were flying on them. 
Soon after the Presidents visit the Bengal Government sent one 
ICS officer to tour the district of Noakhali and another to Tippera 
to investigate conditions at the spot These officers saw a part of 
the havoc perpetrated by the Muslim fanatics. In Noakhali it was 
found that almost every Hindu house in the affected villages had 
been thoroughly looted. Tbc looting was thorough and complete. 

Floors were dug up courtyards were dug up even adjacent pools 
of water into which many of the victims had thrown their utensils, 
etc. m a last minute effort to hide them, were dragged and the 
booty fished outT The victims were left with only the clothes 
they stood in. The houses were then burnt and all that could be 
seen was a heap of blackened and twisted corrugated iron lying on 
the plinth of the house. It was estimated that 99 per cent of the 
non Muslim houses had been looted and between 70 and 90 per 
cent of the houses had been burnt down. In Tippera the conditions 
were equally distressing Here too the looting and arson had been 
on a very wide scale. The Special Officer said in his report, ** I was 
appalled by what I saw m such villages as Paikpara and Haemchar 
It is however not enough to speak of merely two villages by name. 
In all the affected villages, the scenes of wreckage cannot be ade 
quatefy described Large homesteads have ceased to exist and loss 
of property has been very considerable No description of the 
condition of Haemchar Bazar can be sufficiently vivid it must be 
visited to be appreciated ” and again M In the affected villages, 
there is chaos, destruction of homesteads, an absence of any n# 11 
of movable property despondency and apprehension the few 



Direct Action Day and After 


75 


who have remained are anxious to leave The destruction is so 
complete that, except for sheets of corrugated iron, the looting of 
which is in progress each night even at present, nothing remains but 
pathetic wreckage Large numbers of small personal temple-huts 
have been burnt out, images have been pulled down and smashed 
and at least one large and brick-built temple has been looted and 
desecrated ” This was written on November 5, 1946 

The condition of refugees was deplorable Foodstuffs were 
unavailable and the price of rice when it could be obtained was 
Rs 2 per seer A large number of refugees had congregated at 
different places and their state was pitiable At Faridganj on 
November 2 there were about six thousand refugees huddled on 
boats and sheltering in huts ashore Many of them were suffering 
from dysentery and other diseases Rescue parties sent from 
Calcutta were refused police protection and had to go back 
» Gandhiji heard of these tragic events and, on October 22, he 
resolved to go to East Bengal He said he wanted to wipe 
away the tears of the outraged womanhood of Noakhali/ Soon 
after this decision was made, serious noting broke out m Bihar, 
and large numbers of Muslims suffered at the hands of the Hindus 
Gandhiji went on a partial fast and, before leaving Calcutta for 
Noakhali, he sent a message to the Bihar Hindus that unless they 
stopped their mad orgy, he would fast unto death Bihar returned 
to peace and sanity within a very short time In the meantime 
Gandhiji arnved in Noakhali on November 6 and began to preach 
his gospel of brotherly love and ahimsa He stayed for almost 
exactly four months and went from village to village telling the 
Hindus to shed their fear and have faith in God He asked the 
Muslims to love their Hmdu brethren 

The first village he stayed at was Choumhom The place 
presented a sorry spectacle The Hmdu habitations had been 
reduced to a mass of rubble and shapeless mud All around lay 
the charred remains of human flesh and bone The stains of blood 
on what were once door-steps were still visible and the smell of 
corpses hung in the air Clusters of arecanut and coconut palms 
dotting the landscape intensified the tragedy of human suffering 
The few women who were present came and sobbed out their 
sorrow at Gandhiji’s feet The same story was repeated m every 
village he went to He listened in silence and tried to give comfort 
to the crucified souls “ My heart weeps before God,” he would 
say, “ although my eyes have no tears ” He spoke to the Muslims 



76 


Stem Reckoning 


and invited them to his prayer meetings. After a few days he 
decided to disperse his party and send individual members to 
different villages. He asked them to stay there and act as hostages 
for the safety and security of the Hindu residents. Ho himself 
made Snrampur his headquarters and stayed there for forty-one 
days. He visited all the neighbouring villages and held prayer 
meetings in which be brought Hindus and Muslims together 
and spoke to them of brotherly love. Ho accepted invitations to 
distant villages and returned home at the dead of night m boats 
tugged through dense hyacinth logged canals. On January 2 he 
began his great lonely march. Staff in hand and walking barefoot 
through slush and mud, through palm groves and bamboo thickets, 
this dark frail man of 77 trudged on and on, day after day from 
village to village carrying the torch of truth and ahimsa. Thoms 
pricked his feet and made the soles bleed, but he declined the 
offer of shoes saying he was on a pilgrimage and a pilgrim iqust 
walk barefoot His programme was one night one village and he 
visited twenty nmo villages. In the course of this march be made 
the acquaintance of Muslim men and women and won their affection 
and co-operation. Ho brought the light of reason and sanity to 
mad Noakhali Large numbers of Muslims came forward and 
pledged to protect the Hindu minorities. Confidence once again 
returned, the Hindus cast away their fears and began to go back 
to their homes. 

On February 4 Gandhiji loft East Bengal. 

There can be very little doubt that the Noakhali and Tippera 
disturbances were tbe result of a planned attempt to intimidate 
the Hindus and make war upon their religion. The manner in 
which the rioting began in a largo number of villages and the 
procedure adopted by tbe mobs are dear proof of this. The help 
rendered by the ex servicemen, the use of stirrup-pumps, the mode 
of conversion employed and the distribution of thousands of Muslim 
League caps is wholly m consistent with tbe hypothesis of a sudden 
and spontaneous uprising on the part of a few hooligans who 
attacked tbe nch Hindus with tbe object of looting them and then 
as suddenly brought their activities to an end There was no doubt 
a determined attempt to loot and destroy Hindu property but the 
assault on their religion and their womenfolk was made with even 
greater m tensity The riots were preceded by virulent propaganda 
carried out all over the district by fanatical Muslim Leaguers, 
and there can be no doubt that m East Bengal they were able to 



Direct Action Day and After 77 

achieve results far more satisfactory than m Calcutta on the official 
Direct Action Day 

The presence of Gandhiji brought peace and confidence to the 
Hindu minority but only temporarily With the establishment of 
Pakistan on August 15, 1947, the atmosphere was once agam 
polluted and a large-scale exodus of the non-Muslim population 
started This still continues * 


(m) 

The events m Calcutta and Noakhah could not fail to have 
repercussions in the neighbouring Province of Bihar. Calcutta was 
the workshop and business premises of thousands of Bihans drawn 
from all parts of Bihar and particularly from the Gangetic districts 
of Saran, Patna, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Monghyr and Bhagalpur 
The ghastly drama enacted on August 16, 1946, and the following 
days at Calcutta gave them a feeling of insecurity and, leavmg their 
adopted homes, their business and employment, they returned to 
their native towns and villages The harrowing tales of massacre, 
rape, arson and plunder which they related stirred the emotions 
of the Bihar Hindus Newspapers published accounts and pictures 
of the atrocities perpetrated by the Muslims Even the sober and 
aloof indifference of the European-owned Statesman was moved to 
a passionate condemnation of the mob rule prevailing in the city of 
Calcutta It may be presumed that the refugees smarting under the 
injury (personal and financial) did not understate the situation, and 
the imagination of the listeners was fired by sympathy for the suffer- 
ers and a desire to take revenge The attitude of the Bihar Muslims 
had contributed very little towards a peaceful solution of the 
problems which presented themselves to the minds of the Bihar 
Hindus or towards appeasing the sullen tempers which grew more 
sullen with every item of gruesome news arriving from Calcutta. 
Peace had prevailed throughout the province on Direct Action Day 
and one or two stray cases of conflict in Gaya, Jamalpur and 
Bhagalpur were too insignificant to give the authorities cause for 
alarm or even anxiety The League spokesmen had exercised no 
restramt m then utterances on August 16 At a meetmg held m 
the Anjuman Islamia Hall, some of the speakers referred to the 
strength of the sword, by which alone the Muslims had achieved 
whatever they had achieved in the past. They held out promises 


* For the later activities of Pir Ghulam Sarwar see Note (111) to Chapter H Appendix I 



78 


Stern Reckoning 


of hire success if like means were adopted. One speaker Syed 
Muhammad Abdul Jalfl categorically said that the Qaid-e Azam 
and Messrs. Nazunuddm and Suhrawardy had unequivocally said 
that non violence was not a creed of the Muslims and that the 
Muslims were free to use any weapons that might be of assistance 
to them 

“ Unka ham la aur tinka tarz i-amal non violence hota hai lekin 
mam saf kah dena chahia hun keh hamare numaindagan 
Qaid-e Azam Nazunuddm aur Suhrawardy nen is cheez ko saf 
kar diya hai ki hamare samne non violence hargiz koi elite*, 
nahm hai Ham jab jcmg Kama challenge to jo cheez hamare pas 
hogi usko ham hathivar banayenge aur ham usko istemal 
karenge 

(Their attack and their conduct is based on non violence but 
I want to make it clear to you that our representatives Oaid-e 
Azam Nazunuddm and Suhrawardy have made it clear that to 
us non violence means nothing When we want to fight wc shall 
make use of whatever weapons wc have.) 

Sba heed ul Haq of the Muslim Students Federation was 
particularly provocative and declared that for a Muslim the way 
to heaven lay both by killing and by being killed by a Hindu. 

These fulmmattons and indiscreet outbursts of the Muslim 
leaders caused a great deal of resentment, and the gloomy fore- 
boding to which they gave rise caused unrest and brought about a 
feeling of mseminty The tension increased every day as news of 
greater and more extensive disasters from Calcutta was received. 
On August IS the Statesman of Calcutta announced that over 170 
persons had been killed and 1 000 injured On August 19 the 
news was that 270 had been killed and 1 600 injured. On the 20th 
the Statesman announced that the death roll was between 2 000 and 
3,000 Thousands of refugees began to leave Howrah and the 
Bihar Government, fearing an outbreak In the province Issued 
instructions to the magistracy and the police asking them to exercise 
special vigilance m maintaining law and order They were enjoined 
to enforce not only the ordinary law but also the tmergency War 
Legislation which had not yt> expired and was to remain m force 
until the end of September The Provincial Armed Police 
Reserve were moved to strategic centres, e.g. Patna Muzaffarpur 
Monghyr and Gaya. On August 28 the Statesman annnounced 
that 3 468 bodies had so far been accounted for in Calcutta. The 



Dnect Action Day and Aftei 


79 


Interim Central Gcncrnmcnt was expected to take over charge at 
Delhi on September 2 1946, and this further complicated matters 
because the Muslim League had not joined the Government and 
their attitude was fraught with danger to the public peace On 
August 27. the Provincial Government issued telegrams to all 
District Magistrates calling upon (hem to warn all important com- 
munal-minded persons At (he same time the officiating President 
of the Provincial Congress Committee sent instructions to all 
Congressmen to abstain from doing anything which might cause 
offence to any party or group in the country The situation at 
the moment was so tense that at Ranchi the news of a buffalo fight 
caused a panic Shops were shut down and frightened women ran 
home The Provincial Government distributed a large number of 
leaflet issued over the signatures of the Premier and leaders of 
both communities These leaflets asked the people to keep calm, 
check rumours and show a spirit of tolerance, and, at all cost, 
avoid a repetition of the unfortunate happenings at Calcutta As 
the result of these efforts the occasion of the Idul-Fiti (August 29, 
1946) passed off without any incidents Even on September 2, no 
untoward incident happened and the Muslims who were not m 
sympathy with the Interim Central Government happily flew black 
flags on their houses An undercurrent of tension, however, con- 
tinued during the following weeks although there were no incidents 
of any type 

The first serious not occurred on September 27, at Bembad 
district Muzaffarpur News had gone round that a local Muslim 
had brought a Bengali Hindu girl from Calcutta and was keeping 
her against her wishes Investigation proved that the girl had m 
fact been brought from Calcutta but she had voluntarily embraced 
Islam and had married her Muslim lover The truth, however, was 
not known till later, and in the meantime a not broke out A police 
truck bringing magistrates and armed force to the village m order 
to quell the disturbance had a breakdown on the way and was 
delayed This unfortunate incident precipitated events and resulted 
m a serious deterioration of the communal situation throughout 
North Bihar Fuel was added to the fire by a singularly stupid and 
provocative act of the President of the Muslim League at Bihar- 
sharif This gentleman was the Secretary of the Cloth Distribution _ 
Committee and m this capacity handled cloth ration cards He 
stamped every ration card with the words “ Allah-ho-Akbar, Leyke 
i alien ge Pakistan ” Nothing more unfortunate m the circumstances 



80 


Stem Reckoning 


can be imagined. The trouble was however still local and con 
fined to a small area. It was overcome and the following days 
showed an improvement in the communal situation. Duxsehra, 
which fell on October 2 to 5 was peaceful there being just one 
incident in Monghyr District where the police had to open fire 
because the Sub-Divisional Officer and an armed police party were 
stoned by the mob 

In this state of tension the Dews of the Noakhah lawlessness 
began to arrive The first announcement was contained m the 
Statesman of October 16 1946 and the issues of the subsequent 
days brought tales of horror murder loot and arson. The Muslim 
League had joined the Interim Government on October 17 but the 
utterances of tbo Muslim League leaders showed that their dea 
sion did not contemplate co-operation with the Congress. In fact, 
Ghaznafar Ah Khan speaking at Lahore said 

We are going into the Interim Government to get a foothold 
to fight for our cherished goal of Pakistan The Interim 
Government is one of the fronts of the Direct Action Campaign 
and we shall most scrupulously carry out the order of Mr Jmnah 
on any front that we are called upon to serve ” 

t£c happenings at Calcutta and Noakhah were associated with the 
Direct Action p'an of the League. The Hindus could not help 
thinking that the campaign of murder and loot in Calcutta and 
Hast Bengal was part of a well laid and pro-conceived design to 
intimidate and temfy the Hindus and the Congress so that they 
should be forced to concede Pakistan. Leaflets containing direct 
incitement to vio encc were recovered from Muslims in various 
parts of Bihar In some leaflets, printed m Delhi, over the name 
of one Muhammad Ban Hindus were described as the enemies 
of Islam and the wnter referred to himself in the words of Saadi 
as “ one whose head is to be found besmeared with the blood and 
dust of the battle field.” These leaflets were traced to the Secre- 
tary of the local Muslim League in South Bihar In the second 
week of October two Maulvu from Hyderabad (Deccan) were 
found m possession of three leaflets These purported to hare 
been issued by AUama Amiruddin Sahib of Najore North Western 
Frontier Province. One of them was addressed to Mr Jlnnah and 
contained the following message 

“So far we have given sufficient time to Indian infide’s. It 
is time to remow the darkness of infidelity and illuminate the 



Ducct Action Day and Aftci 


81 


whole universe by resplendent Islam To accomplish this sub- 
lime cause we must slaughter the infidels as was done in the 
early days ” 

Another leaflet, found in circulation was signed by one Habibur 
Rahman of Calcutta This leaflet purported to contain the verbal 
directions of Mr Jinnali and set forth elaborate instructions for the 
destruction of Hindu religion and culture, conversion and 
murder of Hindus, murder of nationalist Muslims, Congress leaders, 
and bestial attacks on Hindu women No wonder the Hindu pub- 
lic of Bihar thought that the happenings at Calcutta and Noakhali 
were merely an implementation of the directions and plans con- 
tained m these leaflets 

On October 25, a number of meetings all over Bihar were 
organized to protest agamst the atrocities committed on the Hindus 
in East Bengal The authorities took stock of the situation and 
after giving the matter their most careful consideration came to 
the conclusion that it would be unwise to prohibit these meetings 
as a prohibition in the circumstances would merely result in an 
unhealthy bottling up of emotions Directions were given to the 
speakers to exercise restraint and moderation in their utterances 
At least, m one place, namely, Bhagalpur, these directions were 
scrupulously respected The Government had issued a circular 
from which the following passage may be quoted 

“I need hardly emphasise the importance which the Pro- 
vincial Government attach to the maintenance of communal 
peace which, except for a few isolated outbreaks, has been 
mamtamed in this Province The Emergency War Legisla- 
tion is of course no longer m force, but you should not 
hesitate to use the provisions of the ordinary law where you 
consider it necessary and you should have no hesitation m deal- 
ing with agents piovocateurs, and persons whose acts or utterances 
may lead to trouble, whatever their status, party or creed 
Officers who have done their duty to the best of their ability and 
judgment should rest assured that they will have full support of 
the Provmcial Government m taking whatever action they con- 
sider necessary to prevent a dangerous outbreak ” 

These precautions, directions and exhortations were, however, of 
no avail and October 25 saw a serious outbreak of trouble which 
spread and mcreased during the follow ng days, reached its peak 
on November 3 and 4, and then rapidly died down During these 
twelve dark days the Hindus of Bihar let their passions loose upon 



82 


Stem Reckoning 


their Muslim brethren and drank deep of the cup of revenge. 
Trouble began at Chapra, the headquartere of Saran District A 
meeting bad been arranged m order to condemn the Noakbali out 
rage* but before the meeting could be held, noting started in 
the town beginning with a fatal attack on a Muslim League prota 
gomst who had been marked down by the hooligans for his com 
munal activities. In the course of the afternoon and evening there 
were eight or nine different nots m the town and altogether fifty 
incidents were reported. The police opened fire on three separate 
occasions at three different places and the military was sent for 
Trouble also started at Jamalpair m Monghyr District where the 
celebration of the Kah Pufa by the Hindus was interfered with by 
some Muslims who threw brickbats. The disturbance was 
temporarily controlled At Bhagalpur there was a similar incident 
and the Kah image was stoned during the night On the 26th the 
noting gathered intensity and began to spread to- fresh localities. 
The rural areas m the vicinity of Chapra were aflame and a Hindu 
mob advancing towards Chapra was stopped only when the police 
opened fire on them. In Monghyr town noting had begun and 
twenty two persons were injured In village Chichraun a Kah 
procession was attacked by a Muslim mob and the imago was 
damaged by them The Hindus were compelled to leave the 
image in the fields and this gave rise to a great deal of resentment 
against the Muslims A not broke out m Bhagalpur and m the 
Tara pur area in Monghyr Distnct. 

On November 2 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru amved in Patna 
and began an extensive whirlwind tour of the disturbed areas by 
car tram and plane. He visited Biharshanf Jctli Moimpur 
Fatwa Kfiusrupor Bakhtiarpur Patna City fiilsa, Jehanabad 
Gaya and numerous other places. He rebuked the Hindus and 
told them that retaliation would only brmg fresh trouble and ruin 
upon both communities. He comforted the Muslims and told 
them to show courage and remain peaceful The Hindus were 
openly hostile to Pandit Nehru and he had to face an angry audi 
ence at Patna after a Hindu mob had been ordered to be fired upon 
at Nagamausa On November 3 and 4 trouble m all the districts of 
Patna Saran Bhagalpur Gaya and Monghyr was at its height 
There were cases of cold blooded murders of Muslims dead bodies 
were thrown in wells and property was looted and burnt There 
were some instances of Muslims attacking Hindus and these only 
exacerbated feelings further From two villages in Hilsa area it 



84 


Stem Reckoning 


It was alleged that a large number of Muslim women bad been 
kidnapped and converted to Hinduism. Some Muslims earned 
the skulls of victims to the North Weston Frontier Province and 
exhibited them m the town of Hazara, mating the spectators to 
exact vengeance from the kafirs While it is not possible to pre- 
pare an accurate statement of the number of persons killed and 
wounded, a very careful and detailed enquiry made by the Pro- 
vincial Government has brought to light the figures contained In 
the following table 

Statement A 


District* 

Muslim* 

killed 

Hindus 

killed 

Total 

killed 

Muslima 

injured 

Hindu* 

injured 

Total 

injured 

8*ran 

114 

8 

122 

101 

24 

125 

Putin* 

3 t m 

143 

3,531 

407 

172 

579 

G»ya 

547 

19 

566 

113 

7 

120 

Mcmghyr 

1 021 

48 

1 069 

436 

1 

437 

BhagaJpur 

158 

6 

164 

94 

89 

183 

Sahuria 

8 

— 

8 

2 

2 

4 

Santa! Pargana* 

47 

— 

47 

209 

. — 

209 

ELI. Railway 

44 

— 

44 

85 

8 

93 

O T Railway 

7 

— 

7 

4 

— 

4 

Grand total 

5 354 

224* 

5,558 

M 451 

303 

I 754 


Some women must undoubtedly have been abducted but almost 
all of them were recovered. There were hardly any conversions 
and when after the return of peace an announcement was made 
inviting the Muslims to give names of abducted women, no names 
were mentioned. In the second week of November 1946 an assur 
ance was given to Mian Iftikhar Hussain Khan of Mamdot that 
immediate action would be taken if the Relief Committee of the 
Muslim League or any other organization gave information re- 
garding abducted women The Khan, however did not report a 
single case. The Relief Committee of the Muslim Leagud reported 
one or two cases upon which prompt action was taken. The 
President of the Muslim League promised to give a list of abducted 
women to the Additional District Magistrate of Patna but no list 
was furnished A Muslim lady M.L.A. was asked to give such a 
list but she too did not communicate any information to the 
Addiuonal District Magistrate Even Gandhlji at a meeting on 
March TO 1947 observed 

14 Since my arrival in Bihar I have been telling those Muslims 
v who told me about the kidnapped girls to give me the names 


nukmtT of Lk« Hilda nunlwi rcudwd tram poke* nod mflftair feM* on ifaa 




Direct Action Day and Aftei 


85 


* 


and the family connection of such girls in order to help them 
finding out if they were still alive , but up till now not one 
name has been submitted to me I again ask you to submit 
names of these unfortunate girls ” 

Gandhiji, however, received no names Some stray reports of 
kidnapping were received by the District Officers and prompt 
action was taken on every one of these It may be mentioned that 
m some cases the information given was of a vague and nebulous 
type and searches earned out on the basis of such information 
proved fruitless On January 15, 1948, eighteen women remained 
untraced and a reward of Rs 1,000 for the recovery of each one 
of them was offered by the Government 

Mention has been made of the numerous occasions on which 
the police and military were ordered to open fire on the Hindu mobs 
m order to stop the noting The following tables give complete 


information on this point 

Statement B 
By Police 


Serial 

No 

Districts 

Occasions 

Rounds 

Killed 

Injured 

1 

Saran 

11 

58 

3 

8 

2 

Saharsa 

1 

30 

— 

1 

3 

Muzaffarpur 

1 

4 

— 

— 

4 

OT Railway 

— 

ml 

— 

— 

5 

Patna 

30 

351 

Over 57 

15 

6 

Gaya 

i to 

35 

5 

6 

7 

Monghyr 

6 

74 

4 

1 

8 

Bhagalpur 

2 

9 

— 

— 



plus a few 



9 

Santal Parganas 

i 

2 

— 

— 

10 

El Railway 

— 

— 

— 

— 


Total 

62 


Over 69 

About 31 


Statement B-l 
By Military 


Serial 

No 

Districts 

Occasions 

Rounds 

Killed 

Injured 

1 

Saran 

| 

i 

— 

— 

2 

Saharsa 

— 

— 

— 

— 

3 

Muzaffarpur 

— 

— 

— 

- 

4 

O T Railway 

— 

— 

— 


5 

Patna 

23 

1,516 

319 


6 

Gaya 

3 

54 

4 


7 

Monghyr 

1 

60 

1 


8 

Bhagalpur 

— 

. 

— 


9 

Santal Parganas 

— 






10 

E I Railway 

— 

— 

— 


_ 

Total 

27 

1,630 

324 






















86 


Stern Reckoning 


The ordinary law was enforced with the utmost rigour and the 
folio tying table shows the number of criminal cases brought against 
the persons concerned In these nots 


Statement C 




No of 
persons 

No Of 

| No. of 

Serial 1 

Districts 

sent up in 

houses 

cases 

No 


criminal 

searched 

instituted 



cases 


1 

] 

Siran 

1 982 

444 

■ 

243 

2 

Patna 

9 668 

4 690 

1.304 

3 

Gaya 

1 003 

1 783 

159 

4 

Monghyr 

2,980 | 

876 

449 

5 

6 

Bhajpdnur 

Santal Pargaruu 

I 524 I 
239 

649 

86 

492 

14 

7 

Saharsa 

79 

177 

7 

8 

| E.L Railway 

49 | 

72 

17 


It is to be noted that the disturbances were confined to only 
a small area of the province. The number of Muslims killed has 
been estimated at 5.334 and Muslims injured at 1 451 As against 
this 224 Hindus lost their lives and 303 were injured. Most of 
the Hindu casualties resulted from police and military finng on 
the notous mobs. Out of a total of fifty four sub-drvisions only 
fifteen were affected and do sub-divison was affected in its 
entirety Out of a total of 18.869 villages m Bihar nots broke out 
in 750 villages only The total number of houses in Bihar accord 
mg to the census of 1941 is 6.96 millions and a fairly compre- 
hensive enquiry shows that only 9 869 were damaged or destroyed. 
Thousands of Muslim families who had left the province during 
the troubles have returned Compensation on an average of 
Rs. 200 per family has been given for purpose* of rehabilitation. 
Building advances were also made by the Provincial Government 
Gandhiji paid three visits to Bihar in the early part of 1947 and 
1 "tured the rural area* which had been affected during the not*. 
^ vas his threatened fast which brought tfcc orgy to a rapid con 
clusib^ a od iff* subsequent visits helped to establish complete 
confide^. m jhc minds of the Muslim population. 



Ill 


I 



Tuszl 

Que fait hors des maisons ce peuple? <Ju*iI t en aiUel 
Soldat* mitraiUez-mol toute cette canal Ue 1 
Feu l feu l Tu voteras ensidU 6 peuple-roi ! 

Sabrez I honnrur sabre* Is droit sabrez la loll 
Que tur les boulevards Is sang coule en riviires 1 
Du vin plein let bidons 1 des marts pltin let civiires 1 
Qui vent de Veau-de vie? En ce temps pluxrieux 
U faut bolre Soldats fusUlex-mol ce vieux 
Tuex-moi ce t enfant Qu'est-cc que cette femme ? 

Cest la mire? tuez Que tout ce peuplc tnfdme 
Tremble et que let pavit rouglssent tes talons 1 

• # * * 

C ett fait ripotez vous et l on entend sonnsr 

Dans let fourreaux le tabrc et r argent dans let poches. 

De la banque aux bivouacs on vide les sacochex. 

Ceux <7ul tuaient le mieux at qui non t pas bronchi 
Auront la croi r d'honneur par-dessus le marchi 
Les vainquextrt en hurlant dansent sur les dicombres. 

Des tas de corps saignants gisent dans les coins sombres 
Le soldat gal, f&roce ivre complice obscur 
ChanceUe et, de la main dont II s"appule au mur 
Achive d icrasrr quelque cervtUe humaine 
On bott on rit on chante on rtpaiHe on amine 
Des vaincus qu qn fusille hommes femmes enfants, 

Les g&niraux doris galopent triomphants 
Rtgardis par les marts tombis d la ren verse 


V Hugo — Les Chatiments 



CHAPTER THREE 


THE PUNJAB 

These convulsions left the tranquillity of the Punjab undis- 
turbed News of the events in Calcutta, Noakhah and Bihar 
horrified the people and gave rise to a feehng of insecurity but 
produced no repercussions Riots took place in Allahabad on 
August 23, 1946, and at Garh Mukteshwar m the Meerut District 
on November 6, 7 and 8 of the same year, and it seemed as if 
the murderous monster were approaching On August 16, 1946, 
life in the Punjab had followed a normal and uneventful course 
The Mushm League held meetings throughout the province and 
passed resolutions reaffirming their demand for Pakistan, but these 
demonstrations were entirely peaceful It was not till March 4, 
1947, that the storm of lawlessness broke over the province, but, 
when it came, it continued unabated (except for a few lulls) for 
several months and attamed a degree of horror and destruction 
unequalled anywhere else 

There were several factors which contributed to bring about 
this phenomenon The Punjab has always occupied a peculiar 
position m the history, economy and politics of India A con- 
tinuous procession of invading hordes from the west made it 
difficult for the province to have a settled and stable Government 
for any length of time The Punjabi did not develop a peculiar 
mdigenous culture Political instability and frequent infusion of 
fresh ideas made him singularly prone to imitate and accept 
foreign notions about life and social behaviour The birth and 
rise of the Sikh religion helped to promote the virile and 
unorthodox spirit, native to the soil of this dry and vigorous land 
The Punjab has for long been the land of peasant proprietors, and 
a comparatively even distribution of wealth resultmg from this 
circumstance has made for contentment and lack of interest in 
political affairs This indifference towards national aspirations 
often made politicians lose their patience and accuse the Punjabis 
of impeding the progress of the ceuntry and being a drag on the 
rest of India The British rulers kept a firm hold on this strategic 
province and prevented the growth of political discontent They 
came to the Punjab as conquerors, established themselves in the 
seat of power in a remarkably short time and, at one stroke, 
7 



90 


Stem Reckoning 


annexed the whole province. They preserved the existing system 
of land tenure which prevented the accumulation of wealth in the 
hands of a few idle landlords end the growth of an industrialist 
class. The Government of the province was conducted on the 
hues of a beneficent despotism. The ablest officers of the Indian 
Cml Service were encouraged to choose the Punjab and they were 
allowed a great deal of latitude in administrative matters. The 
District Officer m the Punjab had far more power and presage 
than his prototype m. for instance the United Provinces \vberc 
his attitude was not so aloof or godlike Small wonder that the 
Punjab was called the Ulster of India and Congressmen despaired 
of finding a satisfactory response to nationalist cries in the robust 
heart of the Punjabi, 

The population of the muted Punjab as recorded at the 
census of 1941 was 28.4 millions comprising 16.2 millions 
Muslims. 7.5 millions Hindus and 3 7 milli ons Sikhs (the rest of 
the population was made up of Christians, etc,). The western 
districts were ^predominantly Muslim while the eastern districts 
were predominantly Hindu, or perhaps more correctly non 
Muslim.* In the central districts the communities were evenly 
divided. The Sikhs were concentrated for the most part in the 
central districts of Ludhiana, Jullundur Ferozcjjoro, Amritsar 
Lahore Montgomery Sheikhupnra, Lyallpur and Gujranwala. The 
population m the towns did not show a pronounced bias in favour 
of any particular community though non Muslim interests in 
property commerce and industry predominated in all the urban 
areas. 

When the and lands in Sheikhupura Lyallpur and Montgo- 
mery Districts were made culturablo by the incidence of canal bn 
gation the peasants from the central areas were persuaded to go 
and colonize these lands. Large numbers of enterprising Sikhs set 
up homes in the new colonies and their skill and industry brought 
prosperity to these hitherto unproductive districts. The Sikh 
soldiery disbanded after the annexation of the Punjab found cm 
ployment m the areas irrigated by the Upper Ban Doab canal. 
Lyallpur has been described f as the daughter of Central Punjab. 


I tha ArabJJ Dftatod the p otMU i of MnaLbxj wu rwjr 21-07 la tha JM> 
tuwJtr Di Woo U «u 14 SI per orm, where** to UK *oWi dmrlct* ibb 0 m« roaa u 
hi** *» SCO per cent 1* Attack. 19 42 per cam La Jbtfwro anJ U 42 per cent la Mini- 
hrtvb. Mtotam to Rawitoimdl Dirkiow wtr* «3JJ per eta* **1 to (ha Uuitaa DhlAa 
73 4J per cent. 

♦ #7 S« UlL'iirf Dirtoi*. 



flic Punjab 


91 


More ihan a hundred thousand Sikhs from Amritsar District alone 
went to Lyallpur and helped to colonize it [n Montgomery there 
were a hundred and ten thousand Sikh military grantees Popu- 
1 moil in the eastern districts was always more congested than 
in tic western districts, 'and the establishment of these 
colonies provided a measure of relief in the east and helped to 
increase production in the west * These Sikh colonists had their 
loots m the eastern districts and the setting up of new homes in 
the west did not involve a break with their original homes and 
villages It mean* . in the majority of cases, nothing more than a 
division of the family, some members of which remained m charge 
of the o d ancestral lands while others went over to the colony 
This preserved the family ties and kept alive the old association 
with home and village l his circumstance assumed great impor- 
tance when the question of partitioning the province was bruited, 
and was responsible for much bloodshed in West as well as in East 
Punjab 

Another factor which contributed towards the malevolence 
and acrimony of the communal relations during and after the riots 
was the peculiarity of the Punjab land tenure system Reference 
has already been made to this circumstance, but it is necessary to 
devote a little more attention to it Ninety-four per cent of the 
landowners in the province paid less than Rs 50 each as land 
revenue , yet they contributed nearly 60 per cen* of the total land 
revenue of the province Of these a very large number (17 59 
lakhs) paid Rs 5 or less per annum There were no more than 
thirty-six persons paying a land revenue of more than five thous- 
and rupees per annum This meant that a very large proportion 
of the population had a stake in the land and was attached to the 
soil Among the non-Muslims especially, the floating population 
engaged in labour or menial tasks was almost negligible, whereas 
a large number of Muslims, residing more particularly in the eastern 
districts, had no proprietary interest in land The Census Returns 
of 1931 showed that the Muslim population of the Punjab was 
14 9 millions and of these no less than 4 7 millions or more than 
one-third, were weavers, cobblers, herdsmen, potters, mussahs 
(sweepers), carpenters, o lmen, beggars, bards, barbers, black- 
smiths, butchers, washermen and mirasis Agam, the westeim 


* The population density in the twelve eastern districts which now comprise East 
Punjab was 327 persons per sq mile as compared to 264 persons per sq mile in the 
western districts The production o£ the eastern districts was, however only 29 per cent 
as compared to the remaining 71 per cent of the western districts 




92 


Stem Reckoning 


districts were far more productive than the eastern districts the 
ratio of productivity bang 71 per cent (west) to 29 per cent (east). 
Cotton was grown almost exclusively in the west where there was 
also a greater abundance of wheat and nee * 

The Sikhs thus had a very important landed mterest m the 
districts of Gujranwala Shcikhupura, Lyallpur and Montgomery 
which now form part of Pakistan. Some of their shnnes possess 
mg deep emotional and cultural associations were also situated 
m this area. Nankana Sahib for instance where there are several 
Gurdwaras commemorating the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder 
of the Sikh religion is m Sheikhupura District. Another famous 
shrine known as the Gurdwara of Sacha Sauda. is situated m the 
same distnct The Sikhs were, therefore attached to some of 
the western districts by secular as well as spirtual ties. Such 
bang the state of affairs, it is not surprising that their presence 
was a source of annoyance to the Muslims and a hindrance to the 
achievement of economic supremacy by them. Nor need we 
wonder at the extent of resentment and the desire for revenge 
displayed by the Sikhs when they were uprooted from the land 
they had developed and ennebed and were driven out of their 
homes. 

# # # # 

Constitutional Reforms and Local Self-Government came to 
the Punjab slowly and late. Until 1920 the Lieutenant-Governor 
ruled the province without the advice or assistance of Executive 
Councillors or of any non-official individual. He thus maintained 
a firm hold on the admnustrative machinery With the exception 
of Sir Fazl i Hussain and Chaudhry Chhotu Ram, the Ministers 
appointed under the Chelmsford Reforms were effete and 
ineffective. After the Government of India Act of 1935 Sir 
Fail i Hussain attempted to form a non-co minimal party repre- 
senting the interests of the Punjab zemindars. Ho realized that 
the aignment of parties on a purely religious or communal basis 
would lead to a stalemate as no party would bo m a position to 
command a clear majority or form a stable Ministry The Unionist 
Party organized by him had Hindu, Muslim and Sikh members. 
Sir Faxl-i Hussain died on July 9 1936 before the elections were 
held, and the leadership of the Party devolved upon the shoulders 


TW vtcu p rolnr-f d la tbe datrict* ww o*ir 1J.7 per r(KM 0 < the 

poeaUtkm u coewtttl to 2SJ *». ht the m. Q*-t H4 per ceot of d W tool rice 

produced la Che pi m la ce cum Irena the caMera dEKricti. 



Hie Punjab 


93 


of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, a somewhat lukewarm and timid 
politician whose anxiety to keep himself in office frequently led 
him into difficult and thorny paths, extrication from which was 
only possible by a sacrifice of truth and mtegnty He was thus 
driven into situations where prevarication and suppression of 
truth became necessary His compromises with Mr Jmnah and 
Sardar Baldev Singh succeeded only in discrediting him both with 
the Muslim League and the Sikhs 

The elections of 1937 resulted m a majority for the Unionist 
Party The Muslim League succeeded m winning two seats only 
and one of the members resigned as soon as the Assembly met 
and joined the Unionist Party The Punjab had thus given a 
decisive verdict against the Muslim League Mr Jinnah was anxious 
to secure the support of a Muslim majority province and invited 
Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan to the Lucknow Session of the All-India 
Muslim League in October 1937 The Sikandar-Jinnah Pact * 
thus came into existence and Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan divided his 
loyalties between the Muslim League and the non-Muslim mem- 
bers of lus Unionist Party On the sudden death of Sir Sikandar 
at the peak of his glory in December 1942, Sir Khizar Hayat Khan 
Tiwana succeeded him as the Provincial Premier His attitude 
towards the Muslim League was a little more robust than that 
of his predecessor and entailed a definite breach with Mr Jinnah 
The dismissal of Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan from the Ministry 
on charges of corruption and nepotism created a bitter and voci- 
ferous opponent of Sir Khizar Hayat Khan and the Unionist Party 
The provincial elections, held in the beginning of 1946, were 
marked by a display of unprecedented acerbity and vituperation 
The Unionist candidates were dubbed as heretics and s’aves of the 
kafir Hindus Muslim students from Aligarh were imported to 
spread disaffection against the non-Muslims Khizar Hayat Khan 
found that, in this election campaign, Muslim officials were 
ranged against him The story is told of a District Inspector of 
Schools telling the voters that unless they voted for the Muslim 
League candidate their sons would fail m their school examinations 
He issued instructions to all school masters subordinate to him to 
implement his wishes m this respect He then went to see the 
Deputy Commissioner and, believing him to be a Muslim, spoke of 
his activities with a glow of pride Unfortunately for him, the 
Deputy Commissioner was a Christian with a Muslim name and 


* See notes to Chapter HI In Appendix I 




94 


Stern Reckoning 


the matter was reported to the higher authorities, Bradsford the 
well known journalist who was an eye-witness of this election 
wrote as follows 

Three great powers confront the Muslim peasants — the 
feudal landlord, the Government and the League. Of these three 
only the League can reach his emotions and it has been in action 
everywhere on behalf of the Muslim League. It has created a fear 
that Islam is in danger The clergy tells the peasants that their 
hope of sal va* ion depends on their voting for the League and 
sometimes they enforce this appeal by parading the roads with a 
copy of the Quran I have heard the loudspeaker on their cars 
shouting the slogan A curse on the infidel Hindus. The result 
is that a wave of communal feeling has gripped the- Muslims of 
this province who form a slight majority of its population and 
with rare exceptions, they have rallied to the demand for Pakistan 
Few have thought it out m detail but m Lahore the average man 
who can read a newspaper the clerk or the shopkeeper does at 
least know dimly what it means. He will tell you thai he wants 
a State m which the Muslims will rule I got no further in ques 
tioning the well-educated upper stratum. When I asked whether 
Pakistan would build a tariff wall against Hindustan, even the 
candidates answered That is for the leaders to dcado. The 
well bred upper class is not fanatical Fanaticism is the expedi 
ent they use to win the masses. * 

The result of the elections was an overwhelming success for 
the Mushm League The position of the parties stood as follows 
Muslim League 75 Congress 51 (Including one Muslim) Akahs 22, 
Unionists 20 (including 13 Muslima) and Independents 7 The 
Mus’lm League was thus the largest party m the Legislature but 
it did not possess a clear majority Anxious and prolonged negoh 
ations between the various parties followed and finally Sir Kh tzar 
Hay at Khan was able to secure the support of the Congress and 
Akali members, and announce the personnel of his Cabinet. The 
Mushm League leaders were indignant and started a bitter cam 
patgn against the Ministry 

Soon after the passing of the Direct Action resolution at 
Bombay a Provincial Committee of Action was appointed. t An 

Tkd lifw ranury 2*. 1M. 

t Th# CottWaa c onv b»d of Kla ift ftkir Hauls Khja of UinxJoC, ftofcfcat. 
Rail Okuxafir AS thi n Coavcaar tirdir Shj all l Hijit Kkin. Miik F«to-t» Kki 
Nooa. SkeilB Ci nm t AS.- Mil* IfuUur-ud-Din ud Mil* Abdol AH*. «x»bm. WUi 
DiuAiu X Id u (VTSOO u b* oa ibt CoUrjl Commit** of AtUo*. 



The Punjab 


95 


appeal was made to Muslim lawyers to go forth as “ shock 
troops” and mobilize the masses in anticipation of the coming 
struggle Students were enjoined to be ready for all emerg- 
encies and Muslim women were called upon to learn First Aid 
Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan was assigned the task of enrolling 
Nahonal Guard volunteers Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmam, 
President, All-India Januat-ul-Ulema-i-Islam, declared “To 
maintain discipline in the ranks when the war is on, to tram our 
soldiers in the technique of that war, to provide for its means and 
materia', to ensure its uninterrupted prosecution, to keep co-oper- 
ation throughout the country and to arrange for meeting the 
requirements of the families of those who lose their lives are 
ma'ters which call for immediate planning on an extensive scale ” * 
A programme of Direct Action containing twenty-three points was 
received from Calcutta and communicated to the League workers 
The programme contained detailed instructions for stabbing non- 
Muslims, setting fire to then houses and terrorizing them f 

The National Guards were provided with army helmets pur- 
chased from the Military Disposal Department and many of them 
were given firearms They wore uniforms and were taught army 
drill Group physical training was also undertaken by members 
of the Rashtnya Swayam Sewak Sangh on an increasing scale 
though there is no evidence of the members of this organization 
possessing any arms a* this stage During December 1946 and 
January 1947 processions of National Guards m military formation 
began to parade the streets of Lahore, shouting provocative 
slogans This display of what can only be called a hostile private 
army compelled the Punjab Government to declare the National 
Guards and the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh unlawful bodies on 
January 24, 1947 The Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh submitted to 
the order and allowed its premises to be searched and locked up, 
but the Muslim National Guards took up a refractory attitude 
and, when the police arrived at their Lahore headquarters, they 
offered resistance The members of the Muslim League Working 
Committee, Mian Iftikhar-ud-Din, Sir Feroze Khan Noon, Mian 
Munffaz Daultana, Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan and Khan Iftikhar 
Hussam Khan of Mamdot, hurried to the spot and refused to allow 
the search They were immediately placed under arrest and the 
premises were-broken open Over a thousand steel helmets, um- 


* Dawn September 21 1946 

t See note 00 in Appendix I page 313 



% 


Stem Reckoning 


forms and a mass of inflammatory literature were recovered by the 
police. It was said at the time that firearms and daggers lay con 
cealed m the residential houses of the League leaders and the name 
of Mian Amir od Din, Mayor of Lahore, was particularly men 
tioned w this connection. Subsequent events showed that the 
suspicions were not unfounded, for during tho riots firearms were 
seen to be used from the bouse of Mian Amir ud Dm on several 
occasions. 

The next day Mr Liaquai All Khan declared that the 
National Guards were an integral part of the Muslim League and 
that, therefore an attack on them was an attack on the Muslim 
League. Thu statement coupled with the arrest of the Punjab 
League leaders, was the signal for starting a ruthless agitation by 
the Muslim League. The cases against League leaders were with 
drawn on January 26 and the ban placed on tho Muslim League 
National Guards and the Rashtnya Swayam Sewak Sangh was 
revoked on the 28th, but 44 the League reaction to this was open 
defiance”* and tbc war of nerves continued, Tho agitation was 
ostensibly against the Khizar Ministry but, as this Ministry was 
supported by the Congress and Akali Parties, it assumed a com 
munal shape. Every day meetings were held outside the Mochi 
Gato and violent speeches were delivered. Processions of students 
and women were organized and sent to march through the streets 
of Lahore in a most aggressive manner Provocative slogans were 
shouted, e.g. Ltyke rahengey Pakistan — Jaise hya tha Hindu 
stan (** We will take Pakistan Just as we once took Hindustan ”) 

“ hhs^ar kanjar hoi l\m (** Khizar the procurer is dead O 
sorrow ') Pakistan zmdabad (“ Long live Pakistan ”) “ Unionist 
Ministry murdabad ” (“ Death to the Unionist Ministry ") etc. 

The processions usually terminated near the Assembly Hall 
where the police made temporary arrests. A number of persons 
who claimed to be leading the procession were taken into custody 
and driven out of Lahore for a distance of ten or fifteen miles 
and then left on the road. This was an extremely stupid way of 
dealing with the situation, for the Muslim League workers took 
a number of cars and followed tbc police vans. As soon as the 
arrested persons were put out on the road they were brought back 
to Lahore in tho League cars within a few minute*. The public 
naturally took the view that the Khizar Ministry was not firm 


runWj Ck* cr» Prcu 


UOUary Gmmtr Sum my 29 19*7 




98 


Stem Reckoning 


of Mr Alhtar Hussain Chief Secretary to the Punjab Govern 
ment, for the month of February describes the state of affairs in 
the province 

The agitation which the Muslim League commenced on the 
24th of January has continued until the ume of drafting this report 
It has affected all districts in the province m a varying 
degree and m places there have been situations of some 
seriousness. The campaign is one of deliberate disobedience and 
defiance of law conducted with a definite undemocratic political 
motive. So far there has been no sign that the Muslim League 
leaders at large or m jail have been persuaded to a sense of res 
ponsibiUty or to reasonableness. In the circumstances the early 
restoration of the province to its normal life cannot confidently 
be expected. The law and order field may be further and 
adversely affected if the Muslim League puts certain of its threats 
into action These include interference with communications and 
a campaign of non payment of taxes In three places— Amnt 
sar JuDundur and Ambala — the police were forced to resort to 
firing to control unruly violent crowds and there were casualties 
on both sides some of them of a serious kind. 

“Among Hindus and Sikhs resentment to the agitation is 
growing and part cularly in the case of the latter in an ominous 
degree. On the 12th of February Master Tara Singh declared 
that it was communal m its essentials and had as its purpose the 
domination of the Punjab by Muslims. Ho called on the Sikhs 
to prepare themselves to face the Mushm League onslaught and 
towards this end to organize the Akal Fauj ” 

In the circumstances Khizar could not look forward to the 
continued support of his Hindu and Sikh colleagues as the course 
of events in the Punjab was widening the gulf between the Mus 
hms and the non Muslims The ties that bound the various ole 
ments m the Unionist Party were extremely tenuous. Moreover 
the Punjab was part of Group B which had a preponderance of 
Muslim population and the future of a Punjab politician rested on 
Muslim support Khizar had deemed it impolitic to deal with 
the League agitation with a firm band and his indecision had 
earned him the odium of Muslims and non Muslims alike. The 
fo/rocr thought that his continuance m office was keeping the 
Muslim League out of power while the latter interpreted his mild 
ness as sympathy for the League The compelling force of 



J he Pu/ijah 


99 


Mr Attic's Yalement demanded an immediate decision but a 
de.iston m the circumstances was no easy matter Conditions 
in the province were last approaching a state of anarchy while his 
own political future was dark and uncertain Finally, realizing 
that whether he were m office or out he could exercise no influence 
on the future alfatrs of the Punjab, he decided to quit and on 
March 2. 1947 tendered his resignation He justified his action 
by saying that the declaration of His Majesty’s Government of 
Februarv 20 had completely changed the position and that he 
must resign in order to let the Muslim League seek the co-oper- 
ation of other parties and form a Government 

Events now moved with a rapidity that made masterful 
administration ” of their course impossible The Muslim League 
was triumphant and celebrated the occasion by illuminating their 
houses and business premises m the evening Crowds began to 
roam about the streets shouting League slogans and congratulating 
Klu/ar on having displayed so much wisdom and good sense 
Kluzar ‘he toady, the procurer and butcher was transformed over- 
night into a dear brother Young boys stopped passers-by on the 
road and asked them. Have you heard the latest 9 Khizar is our 
brother 1 ” On March 3, the Governor summoned Khan Iftikhar 
Hussain Khan of Mamdot, the 'eader of the Muslim League Party 
in the Legislature, and asked him to form a Government Khan 
Iftikhar Hussain Khan agreed and promised to give the names 
of his Ministers on the following day 

A wave of resentment spread through the Congress and 
Panthic Parties All the fears engendered by the events of Cal- 
cutta and Noakhali seemed about to be realized The Muslim 
League could not form a Ministry without their co-operation and 
they determined to withhold it They held a joint meeting m the 
Assembly Chamber and discussed the situation A large crowd 
-of Muslims who had collected outside kept up a continuous barrage 
of provocative Muslim League s’ogans They said that they would 
take Pakistan by force, if necessary As soon as the meeting was 
over Master Tara Singh and a number of Sikh and Congress 
leaders came out of the Assembly Chamber Master Tara Smgh 
stood on the stairs facing the hostile Muslim crowd and taking out 
his kirpan flourished it in front of him He shouted, “ Kat ke 
deynge apm jan maggar nahin deynge Pakistan ” (“ We shall kail 
ourselves and give you our lives but will never concede Pakistan ”) 
This somewhat childish prank was about to develop mto a most 



100 


Stem Reckoning 


ugly incident when the police intervened and dispersed the crowd. 
The same evening non Muslims held a mammoth meeting m the 
grounds of Kapurthala House and the leaders gave vent to then- 
pent up anger against the Muslim League attitude. For six weeks 
they had remained silent spectators of the Muslim League cam 
paign but Khizar’s resignation and the prospect of a Muslim 
League Government put too great a strain on their patience. 
Master Tara Singh bad, on February 28 given a Press interview 
to a representative of the New York Times and had remarked “ I 
do not sec how we can avoid avil war There can be no settle 
ment if the Muslims want to rule the Punjab We cannot trust the 
Muslims under any circumstances. The Sikhs had the ability to 
keep the Muslims out of Eastern Punjab but why should we stop 
there. We shall drive them out of the Punjab entirely The Sikhs 
have started to reorganize then own private volunteer army in 
response to the Muslim League month-old agitation against the 
Coalition Ministry of the Punjab m which the Sikhs are repre 
sen ted.” In hu speech on March 3 in the grounds of Kspuithalk 
House be was even more categoncaL 

“ O Hindus and Sikhs l Be ready for self-destruction like the 
Japanese and the Nazis. Our motherland is calling for blood and 
vie shall satiate the thirst of our mother with blood. By crushing 
Moghulistan we shall trample Pakistan. I have been feeling for 
many a day now that mischief has been brewing in the provJnce 
and for that reason I started reorganizing the Akali Party If we 
can snatch the Government from the Britishers no one can stop 
us from snatching the Government from the Muslims. We have 
m our hold the legs and the limbs of the Muslim League and wo 
shall break them. Disperse from here on the solemn affirmation 
that we shall not allow the League to exist. The world has always 
been ruled by minorities. The Muslims snatched the kingdom 
from the Hindus, and the Sikhs grabbed it from the hands of the 
Mus uns and the Sikhs ruled over the Muslims with their might and 
the Sikhs shall even now rule over them. We shall rule over them 
and will get the Government fighting. I have sounded the bugle. 
Finish the Muslim League ” 

Giani Kartar Singh reminded his audience that the yellow flag 
of the Sikhs used to fly on the Fort at Lahore and hoped that the 
same flag would fly again. The Congress speakers were not violent 
but the audience could not overlook the fact that they spoke from 
the same platform 





purtly Hindu 



The Punjab 


101 


These pompous and boastful utterances were mere empty 
threats The Akal Fauj of Master Tara Singh existed only m 
his imagination and the preparedness of the Sikhs was nothing 
more than a piece of wishful thinking The folly of these provo- 
cative speeches was abundantly demonstrated by the manner in 
which the non-Muslims and more particularly the Sikhs suffered 
in the March riots They found themselves without any means 
of self-defence and perished m thousands 

On the following morning the non-Muslim students of Lahore 
were to hold a meeting m the Gol Bagh * The meeting was banned 
and did not take place Some of the students, however, collected 
in the square m front of the Government College and tried to 
organize a hartal The Principal, Mr Bukhari, called the police 
and the peaceful crowd was subjected to indiscriminate firing by 
the police A number of persons were killed Another procession 
of non-Muslim students later m the afternoon was attacked by 
the Muslim National Guards This was the prelude to the stabbing 
of non-Muslims in various parts of the city Rioting now started 
m right earnest and a number of Hindu shops in Sua Bazaar and 
Chowk Rang Mahal were set on fire By the evening thirty-seven 
cases of non-Muslim casualties were reported m the Mayo Hospital 
The Governor abandoned the negotiations with the Muslim 
League leader and took over the administration of the provmce 
under section 93 of the Government of Ind.a Act This did not 
improve the situation and in no way helped to check the tenor 
which had been let loose by the Muslims upon the city of 
Lahore Rioting at the same time broke out in the cities of 
Amritsar, Rawalpindi and Multan and the rural areas of Rawal- 
pindi, Multan, Jhelum and Attock Districts The similarity of the 
pattern followed by the Muslim noters in all these places indicated 
a preconceived and well-developed plan 

On March 5, noting had spread to almost all parts of the city 
of Lahore Hindus and Sikhs were stabbed m Gumti Bazaar, 
Kinari Bazaar, Kasera Bazaar and Rang Mahal The police 
pickets suddenly disappeared from these localities Shops were 
looted and burnt A Muslim mob assisted by National Guards 
arrived m Rang Mahal and began to loot the shops The non- 
Muslim residents offered resistance Thereupon a Muslim Sub- 
Inspector with a police party amved on the scene and opened fire 

* The Go] Bagh Is situated near the District Courts and opposite the Government 
College 




102 


Stem Reckoning 


upon the non Muslim defenders, A Hindu young man had the 
temerity to main a protest to the Sub-Inspector and on this the 
Sub-Inspector overpowered him and shot him dead. Instances of 
this type were reported from several localities of Lahore. A num 
ber of houses and shops in different parts of the city all owned or 
occupied by non Muslims were destroyed by Arc. There was hardly 
any traffic on the Mali Schools were dosed down and it became 
unsafe for childr en to venture out even in the middle of the day 
Tension and anxiety increased on all sides though the first fury 
of the noting died down after three or four days and, on March 1 1 
there was quiet m the city although the streets were completely 
deserted and all shops were shut On March 14 Mr Nehru and 
Sardar Baldev Singh paid a visit to Lahore and wore horrified to 
see the damage done by the hooligans. 

Riots began m Amntsar almost ajnultaneously On Maxell 6 
the train from Batala was stopped by a Muslim mob at Shanfpura 
a suburb of Amritsar Several Hindu and SiLh passengers were 
killed and when the tram reached Amritsar pools of blood were 
seen in many compartments. The women s compartment contained 
a number of dead bodies. A Hindu Magistrate posted at Amntsar 
had gone to Lahore for a day’s holiday He hurried back to duty 
and, outside the railway station he saw a crowd of frightened and 
excited men rushing from the direction of the city They were 
shouting that finng had begun Picking his way with difficulty 
through this mob he reached homo and rang up the Dutnct 
Magistrate for instructions. To his astonishment, the District 
Magistrate ordered him to go to the hospital and record the state- 
ments of injured persons At the hospital ho -saw heads almost 
severed from bodies, bellies ripped open with mtestmea protruding 
from the wounds arms and legs chopped off and all kinds of 
hombic injuries. Many of the patients could hardly speak and 
anything they said could not stay the holocaust proceeding in the 
aty On March 7 Amntsar was reported to bo a veritable inferno 
Fires were raging in different parts of the city Non Muslim ihopa 
ui Hall Baiaar Katra Jarnial Singh and the surrounding areas were 
destroyed or greatly damaged By the next day 140 deaths had 
been recorded at the mortuary the number of casualties treated 
in the two mam hospitals was 275 The actual number of dead 
and wounded far exceeded these figure*. Many dead bodies were 
consumed by the fire others were burled under the debris of fallen 
buildings. 





1 




The effect of arson In a street fn Amritsar 



fhe Punjab 


103 


It appeared at first that the British Deputy Cofnmis- 
sioner and the Police officers had lost their heads and did not 
possess the ability or the courage to deal with the situation The 
District Magistrate displayed an amazing degree of indifference 
towards all calls for help, and the Muslim Deputy Superintendent 
of Police declined to risk the lives of his policemen and proceed 
to the city from where huge columns of fire and smoke could be 
seen rising, while the shrieks of the frenzied mob and then victims 
added to the confusion and horror of the scene It was, however, 
soon clear that this indifference and lack of courage were due to a 
caltous disregard of non-Muslim life and property, for it was 
observed that very few Muslims suffered during this preliminary 
phase of the disturbances All factories, save one, owned by non- 
Mus inis within the jurisdiction of ‘D’ Division Police Station, were 
burnt down The Jawala Flour Mill alone stood intact and 
supplied food to the city If this mill were destroyed the whole of 
Amritsar would starve The Deputy Inspector-General of 
Police was persuaded to depute a guard of Hindu policemen for 
its proteebon A day later the Hindu policemen were replaced by 
Muslims, apparently under the directions of the MusLm Deputy 
Superintendent of Police When a Hindu Magistrate rang up the 
District Magistrate and asked him to call m the military and declare 
Martial Law the latter merely swore and banged the telephone 
receiver down The non-Muslim officers were placed in positions 
from which they could make no contribution towards efforts to 
restore peace They were entrusted with routine duties of patrolling 
the Civil Lines and the suburbs They were frequently sent out 
on a wild-goose chase to stop imaginary Sikh jathas said to be 
converging towards the town Muslim Magistrates assisted by 
Muslim Police officials were in charge of the city and lent their 
support and connivance to the miscreants The Muslim hooligans 
were well-organized mobs carrying their own ambulance arrange- 
ments Doctors in white overalls and stretcher-bearers accom- 
panied them on their raids The Muslim League agitation of 
January and February had prepared them for this event and they 
had acquired a sense of cohesion and solidarity On the other hand, 
weeks of quasi-peaceful processions, when no open conflict between 
the commumties took place, had lulled the non-Muslims into a 
false sense of security, and when the Muslim assault began 'they 
were taken completely unawares They suffered grievously both m 
life and in property 



104 


Stern Reckoning 


The devastation caused by fire and the difficulties of leading 
a nor mal life during long curfew hours were aggravated by the 
breakdown of essential services. The scavenging staff disappeared 
the water pipes in many places were broken or cut. electric supply 
became uncertain. Heaps of night soil and dirt covered the streets 
from end to end. Broken wires electric poles and mounds of 
rubble lying everywhere added to the gloom and desolation of the 
city Only the rationing service continued to function throughout 
The Rationing Controller* worked day and night and saw that 
every depot was well supplied with flour Inside the city he dis- 
tributed bags of flour to trusted residents, Muslim and non Muslim 
alike and gave them directions that they were to supply the needs 
of the entire street or block of houses. 

The noting continued for a whole week before it was brought 
under control 

In Multan, too clashes began on March 5 The Hindu and 
Sikh students of the local schools and colleges took out a proces- 
sion to protest against the shooting of peaceful students m 
Lahore. A mob of Muslims armed with lathis daggers and spears 
and shouting Leyke rahenge Pakistan, Pakistan zwdabad " t 
attacked the procession near Bohar Gate and inflicted injuries on 
several students. Wi‘hm a short tune trouble spread to other parts 
of the city and Muslim hoougans ran about the streets murdering 
Sikhs and Hindus looting their shops and houses and setting fire 
to them. This state of affairs continued for the space of thrpe days. 
Of the first eight persons killed seven were Sikhs. Hurty-cight 
injured persons were admitted into hospital on March 5 The 
victims had been attacked with swords, daggers or hatchets. Several 
houses and shops were on fire and Mushm crowds were reported 
to be obstructing the operations of the Fire Brigade. 

A fanatical Muslim mob invaded the Shri Knshan Bliagwan 
Tuberculosis Hospital outside Delhi Gate and began to butcher the 
miserable patients m their beds. The Hindu compounder who tiled 
to argue with the hooligans was immediately killed. Every tick 
man woman or child m the hospital was done to death and then 
the hospital building was set on fire. Blocks of houses near the 
railway bridge, known as Serai Wan Wattan. were sprayed with 
petrol and set ablaze. About twenty five houses owned by Hindus 

* Mr JL D. UkU 

f ** W» mx M tSuM MIm. Lm tr* rftkbu*.*' 




The Uou*e of Seth Kaluan Da * at Multan after it irvx* 
demolished by fire 



The Punjab 


105 


on Circular Road were burnt down All houses and shops on the 
road leading from the Town Hall to Kotla Tola Khan, the houses 
in Khum Burj, the shops m Sabzi Mandi were looted and destroyed 
by fire The palatial house of Seth Kalyan Das was attacked and 
burnt down The owner came out to reason with the mob but 
he was cut to pieces in front of his door Dr Saif-ud-Dm Kitchlew, 
the well-known Congress leader, was at the time staying with Seth 
Kalyan Das He was recognized and was immediately surrounded 
by a mob A number of Muslim Leaguers took him to a house 
and offered to release him if he signed the Muslim League pledge 
Dr. Kitchlew refused and tried to make his way to the railway 
station He was attacked and beaten but was able to escape alive 

The temples and Gurdwaras m the city were looted and 
desecrated Many of them were burnt down The old Dharam- 
sala of Bawa Sant Das, the Shivala in Serai Wan Wattan, the Jam 
temple outside Delhi Gate, the shnne of Baba Safra, Kultarian- 
wali Dharamsala, the local Gaushala, were all reduced to ashes 
The temple of Jog Maya and the Ram Tirath Temple were dese- 
crated, the idols were smashed and thrown out The devotees Jiving 
on the premises were slaughtered The Devpura Temple and Devta 
Khu were similarly attacked and the inmates done to death 

A number of young girls were kidnapped An Army officer 
patrolling the town saw four non-Muslim girls being driven m a 
tonga They cried to him for help and he was able to rescue them 

" The police took no steps to quell these disturbances which were 
wholly onesided At least one Sub-Inspector of Police was seen 
shooting at unoffending Hmdus and Sikhs An Army officer 
arrested him but he was released on the orders of the Deputy 
Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police The military 
finally brought the situation under control in the city of Multan 
on March 7, but, m the meantime, the rural areas were ablaze and 
lootmg and burning of villages started on a large scale An Army 
officer while on patrol duty saw fires m the villages of Aliwala, 
Thulwala, Chak, Bhikwala, Kotwala, Kuruwala, Sukhanwala, 
Bhandewala, Godhawala, Isawala, Turger, Chandhar and Khujan 
This continued for several days and it was not till a large Army 
force was sent out with instructions not to brook hooliganism at 
any cost that comparative peace was restored 

A number of other districts were mvolved In the words of 
Mr Akhtar Hussam, Chief Secretary to Government, Punjab, 
8 



106 


Stern Reckoning 


“With the news of grave events radiating from Lahore there has 
been bloodshed and burning m many districts and rural areas 
have paid the price levied by insensate fury as well as towns. The 
district of Rawalpindi was the worst affected area and the non 
Muslims who were in a small minority in the rural areas perished 
in large numbers. 

On the morning of March 6 a crowd of Muslims collected m 
Raja Bazaar Rawalpindi, and began to raise the usual provocative 
slogans. Soon another crowd of non Muslims faced them* shouting 
counter slogans A clash was averted but that night the Muslim 
residents of Ratta Amral a Muslim majority area on the outskirts 
of Rawalpindi attacked the Sikh and Hindu houses. The houses 
were set on fire and some of the inmates were mercilessly butchered. 
Many Sikhs were forcibly converted to Islam and their hair and 
beards were removed- There were clashes w the city also but there 
the communities were evenly balanced and the Muslims suffered as 
much as the non Muslims. By the next morning large numbers of 
Muslims from the neighbouring villages had invaded the city and 
the Hindus and Sikhs were outnumbered The British Deputy 
Commissioner was apathetic. Perhaps bo did not possess the ability 
to cope with the extraordinary situation The Muslim Additional 
District Magistrate openly connived at the misdeeds of the Muslim 
mobs and, when a senior Sikh Advocate asked him for police assist 
ance the Additional District Magistrate accused him of spreading 
false rumours and added that he was only endangering his own life. 
The next day a Muslim police constable tried to shoot this Sikh 
Advocate Military pickets were posted in various parts of the city 
but they did nothing btvond standing and looking on as interested 
spectators of the looting and killing taking place within a few yards 
of them They said they had no orders to leave their posts. For 
three days noting went on in the city Shots were continuously 
fired from the Jumma Mosque at Hindus and Sikhs residing in the 
locality On March 7 or 8 * the President of the Cantonment 
Muslim League invited eleven Hindus and Sikhs to form a Peace 
Committee for re-establishing communal amity The meeting was 
held m the house of the President which stands at a httlc distance 
from the main abodi No sooner had the members of the Peace 
Committee collected there than Muslims began to arrive as if by 


The wnarsjc* who rtiued Lkii 1 ncfcfctt were sultiac (he*- mrmrou afler innl 
HOMlB tod r riU ROC reCWbCT l He rT * J ~ f (Ula 



The Punjab 


107 


previous arrangement with the host Seven of the eleven non- 
Muslim members were murdered at the spot Another two who 
succeeded in escaping remained under medical treatment for a con- 
siderable time The police refused to register the case The son 
of one of the muidered persons was the stenographer of Mr Scott, 
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Mr Scott ordered that the 
case should be registered but his order was not carried out for seve- 
ral days It is scarcely necessary to add that the murderers were 
never brought to book 

Conditions in the rural areas of Rawalpindi beggar description. 
On March 6, 1947, meetings were held m the village mosques and 
the Muslims were told that the Jumma Mosque at Rawalpindi had 
been razed to the ground by Hindus and Sikhs and that the city 
streets were littered with Muslim corpses The audience were 
exhorted to avenge these wrongs The village population of the 
district of Rawalpindi has a large proportion of Muslim military 
pensioners possessing firearms and other weapons These men, in- 
cited in this manner, rose up against the non-Muslim residents and 
attacked one village after another The modus operandi was 
almost invariably the same A mob of Muslims armed with all 
kinds of weapons, shouting slogans and beating drums, approached 
a selected village and surrounded it from all sides A few non- 
Muslim residents were immediately killed to strike terioi throughout 
the village The rest were asked to embrace Islam If they 
refused or showed reluctance a ruthless assault was launched 
upon non-Muslim life and property Some members of the mob 
started looting and burning their houses and shops Others 
searched out young and good-lookmg girls and carried them away 
Not infrequently young women were molested and raped m the 
open, while all around them frenzied hooligans rushed about shout- 
ing, looting and setting fire to houses Most of the non-Muslims 
would leave their houses and run to the local Gurdwara or a house 
affording some measure of protection or defence and there men, 
women and children, huddled together, would hear the noise of 
carnage, see the smoke rising from their burning homes and wait 
for the end The horror of what they saw or heard made them 
insensible to pam or suffering Some women would commit suicide 
or suffer death at the hands of their relations with stoic indifference, 
others would jump into a well or be burnt alive uttering hysterical 
cries The men would come out and meet death m a desperate 
sally agamst the marauders 



108 


Stem Reckoning 


Some villages were completely wiped out Houses and shops 
were looted and then burnt down and demolished. Conversion 
saved the lives of many but not then property Refusal to accept 
Islam brought complete annihilation The men were shot or put 
to the sword. In some cases small children were thrown in caul 
(irons of boding ofl. In one village men and women who refused 
to embrace Islam were collected together and after a ring of 
brambles and firewood had been placed around them they were 
burnt alive A woman threw her four month old baby to save It 
from burning The mfant was impaled upon a spear and thrown 
back into the fire In Murree nearly a hundred houses belonging 
to non Muslims were systematically marked and burnt down. 

In as many as 110 villages attacks of this nature were made 
by Muslim mobs. A conservative estimate based on tJbo evidence 
of over two hundred witnesses places the number of persons killed 
at two thousand and five hundred, the number of persons forcibly 
converted at more than three thousand and the number of girls 
kidnapped at two hundred.* 

It is impossible to give a detailed account of these happenings. 
We content ourselves by giving a few representative instances. f 

The Muslim League leaders of Kabuta sent out messages to 
the Muslims of the neighbouring villages mviting them to collect at 
Kabuta on March 7 and take pan m a flag hoisting ceremony A 
huge gathering was held in the local mosque but what transpired 
at this meeting remained secret. Early on the following morning 
many thousands of armed Muslims arrived in Kahuta. The i on 
Muslims approached the Tchshdar and also invoked the help of 
the Sub-Inspector of Police Telegrams were sent by the Lambardar 
but it transpired later that the Muklim Sub-Poitm aster did not 
transmit them. By chance a detachment of a British Army unit, 
on patrol duty arrived at Kahuta but they were sent back by the 
Tchsildar who assured them that there was no danger of any dis- 
turbance occurmg. Within a short time of the detachment leaving 
the town a determined attack was launched by the Muslims. The 
towers of the mosque and the hillocks surrounding the town were 
occupied by gunmen and a volley of shots was fired to frighten 
away, the non Muslims. Crowds then ran into the town, sprinkled 

Tta* rtUi» to tie ruril im only ud do not tnrtndo tie c utdrtm of » 

«nrivi- of wbtr* dtnirtenccj reported to be*« occurred bat fit* 

where bo witne»e« were 03 mined. ft* afto pmi 112 for tl* oflfctil 
t So* U*o the ttbx fhwn in Appendix IL 





itf d«itniction of BtwaX, DUtrict Rntoolptndi 




The Punjab 


109 


petrol on houses and set them on fire Large quantities of mov- 
ables were removed and carried away on camels, donkeys, mules 
and motor lorries The annual examinations were being held in 
the Government Girls’ School The Assistant District Inspectress 
asked the Sub-Inspector of Police to depute two policemen to guard 
the school This request was refused and a little later 
the school was attacked by a mob of Muslims The Tehsildar 
himself was seen shooting at non-Muslims with his gun while his 
orderly carried his box of cartridges The Hindus and Sikhs of 
the village sought refuge in the Gurdwara and remained m a state 
of siege for twenty-seven hours without food, water or sanitary 
arrangements Shots fired at the Gurdwara caused the death of a 
few non-Muslims On the afternoon of March 9, the military 
arrived and evacuated the non-Muslims to the Civil Rest House 
from where they were escorted to safety They were, however, com- 
pelled to leave all their movable and immovable property behind 

Bewal was a village of mixed population, the Sikhs numbering 
about four hundred On the morning of March 10, some of the 
Sikh residents tried to travel to Gujar Khan but the Muslim lorry 
driver refused to carry them on the ground that the Sub-Inspector 
of Police had forbidden the issue of lorry tickets to Sikhs The 
same afternoon a large crowd of Muslims shouting “Ya All, Ya 
Ah,” to the beating of drums, was seen approaching The non- 
Muslim villagers entrenched themselves m two improvised shelters 
At 11 pm the raiders set fire to a number of non-Muslim houses 
on the outskirts of the village The siege of the village contmued 
throughout the night, and, on the mormng of March 11, fresh gangs 
of raiders arrived The assault on the non-Muslim sanctuaries was 
now opened Houses around the Gurdwara, where many of the 
Sikh residents had taken shelter, were set on fire The fire spread 
to the Gurdwara and those inside were almost all burnt alive The 
house of a retired Extra Assistant Commissioner, in which the rest 
of the non-Muslims had collected, was also attacked in a similar 
manner Very few of the four hundred Sikh residents escaped alive 
Many women and girls saved their honour by self-immolation 
They collected their beddings and cots in a heap and when the 
heap caught fire they jumped on to it, raising cries of “Sat Sn 
Akal ” The raiders behaved m a most cruel manner and subjected 
the few men whom they captured to torture The eyes of Mukand 
Smgh, one of the residents, were removed from their sockets and 
he was dragged by the legs till he died 



no 


Stem Reckoning 


Doberan had a population of seventeen hundred of whom a 
very large majority were Sikhs. On the morning of March 10 
swarms of armed raiders from the neighbouring villages began to 
collect m front of Doberan The non Muslim residents sought 
shelter m the local Gurdwara The raiders began to loot the houses 
thus deserted and set fire to them. The Sikhs had a few firearms 
and fought the raiders from the Gurdwara They however suffered 
heavily and soon ran out of ammunition. The raiders asked them 
to surrender their arms and promised not to molest them. About 
three hundred of them came out and they were placed m the bouse 
of one Barkat Singh. During the night the roof was ripped open, 
kerosene oil was poured m and those mside were burnt ah\c In 
the morning the doors of the Gurdwara were broken open. The 
remaining Sikhs dashed out sword in hand and died fighting the 
raiders. Very few escaped from tins hideous massacre. The total 
loss of life in this village is estimated at 506 

In Qazian a village five miles from Gujar Khan the atmos 
phere on the morning of March 7 was tense Qazi Ghulom Hus 
sain, a retired Government official assured the Sikh residents that 
there was no cause for alarm and that the> were perfectly safe in 
tus village. On the morning ot March 9 a large crowd of Muslims 
began to assemble near the village abadi on the pretence of bold 
ing a kabaddi match A few hours later this crowd encircled the 
village. The Muslims advanced with the beat of drums and began 
setting fire to the Sikh houses and Gurdwara. Shots were fired at 
the raiders and they retreated. On the following morning thoy 
came back, reinforced, in larger numbers. Qazi Ghulam Hussain 
asked the Sikhs to come to h.s house for the nigh with their 
valuables. A number of Sikhs accepted this invitation and went 
there with their women and children At 4 pm. the ruders ap- 
peared in front of Qazi Ghulam Hussain s house and the Qazi 
then asked his guests to surrender their arms and leave h x house. 
When the unarmed Sikhs emerged from the bouse they were set 
upon by the raiders and murdered. Three young girls were raped 
in public. Sant Singh, a Sikh resident, had on the previous day 
killed one of the Muslim raiders and had then bidden himself. He 
was sent for by Qazi Ghulam Hussain and while he was talking 
to him, a rope was flung round his neck and he was dragged to a 
firewood stall where he and his son were hacked to bits and then 
burnt The survivors were evacuated to Gujar Khan by military 
lorries on the night of the llth. 















I 


The Punjab HI 

Nara village is situated m a hlly tract It had a majority of 
Sikhs but the neighbouring villages were all predominantly Mus- 
lim At about 4 pm on March 9, Muslim mobs were seen 
approaching the village and, late at night, the village was attacked 
and the outlying houses were set on fire One of the residents, 
Makhan Smgh and his wife and daughter were burnt alive m their 
house The looting and burning continued on the following day 
Some of the raiders had firearms and they appeared to be ex- 
mditary men On March 1 1 the number of raiders swelled to several 
thousands and the village was encircled As the ring narrowed 
the Sikh residents offered a stubborn resistance The raiders 
seized a number of women and children and threw them mto the 
blaze of a burning house A few women committed suicide by 
jumping into a well Over a hundred men were killed , about fifty 
were forcibly converted to Islam The survivors were evacuated 
to Gujar Khan 

Moghal was a Muslim majority village with a population of 
about two hundred Sikhs On the midnight of March 9, the village 
was attacked by a large mob of Muslims A number of Sikh 
houses were set on fire The Sikhs collected themselves m the 
Gurdwara and, with the two rifles which they possessed, returned 
the fire of the raiders The fight continued till the evenmg of 
, March 10 and there was loss of life on both sides Then a Muslim 
ringleader, Qazim Khan of Dadochha, swore by the Quran that 
the Muslims had no wish to do injury to men of such courage, 
and undertook not to molest the Sikhs if they came out unarmed 
Sikhs had exhausted their ammunition and had no choice left but 
to accept Qazim Khan’s terms When they came out of the 
Gurdwara the rioters fell upon them and hacked them to pieces 
At Dhamah, a village w Tehsil Kahuta, a mob of over 
a thousand raiders arrived on the evenmg of March 9 There 
was exchange of fire and the raiders retreated The next 
day, a bigger crowd appeared but this also retreated after 
an exchange of fire On March 12 a crowd of several thousands 
arrived and began to set fire to the village A Hindu resident of 
the village offered terms of peace and the raiders demanded fourteen 
thousand rupees for the safety of the village The money was paid 
and the raiders left The next day (March 13) the raiders agam 
appeared m the afternoon The non-Muslim residents, now des- 
perate, ran out with whatever weapons they had ana attacked the 
raiders Very few of them, however, escaped and .t is estimated 



112 Stem Reckoning 

that not less than five hundred non Muslims of the village were 
killed. When Dhamah lay in rums and almost the entire non 
Muslim population had been decimated, military lomes arrived 
to render assistance to the Hindus and Sikhs. It was then too late. 

Almost every village in the Rawalpindi District where non 
Muslims lived was attacked and plundered m this m a n ner and 
Hindus and Sikhs were murdered and subjected to indescribable 
barbarities. In Thoha Khalsa some Sikh women were thrown into 
a woD others jumped in of their own free will to save themselves 
from being raped. A mob of several thousand Muslims raided 
Hanlal the birth place of the Akah leader Master Tara Singh. 
Master Tara Singh s house was razed to the ground and his uncle 
Gokal Singh, was killed. Kuri Dalai and Debra Khalsa were 
looted and burnt In Kallar the residents resisted the raiders for 
a time stubbornly but the village was eventually looted and burnt 
and large numbers of residents murdered. 

This wholesale massacre and plunder in Rawalpindi District 
ceased m the middle of March and there was comparative peace 
for several months. The Muslins had achieved a decisive victory 
m the opening battle of the war for Pakistan. Mr Williams Home 
Secretary to Government Punjab in a note written on July 26 
1947 gave the comparative figures of casualties as follows 


Number of persons killed 
Non Muslims 2^63 

Muslims 38 

Number of persons injured 
Non Muslims 234 

Muslims 126 


These figures however nowhere approach accuracy as “owing to 
the widespread nature of disturbances and breakdown of normal 
administrative machinery more accurate statistics could not be 
prepared. The information given was collected from the number 
of cases registered with the police. “ They do not include losses 
m dieted where whole families were wiped out and no claims were 
ma d e." The non Muslim population of West Punjab feared that 
these incidents were merely a foretaste of what awaited them in 
the future State of Pakistan. The Chief Secretary of the Punjab 
recorded “ It s safe to say that feelings between them were never 
so strained or chances of their coming together ever so remote. 



/ he Punjab 


i 13 


Invisibly but definitely all non-Muslims have been drawn together 
and there has been a mamiest stiffening m their resolve neither to 
collaborate with the Muslims nor suffer their domination The 
prospect is not impro\ed by the brutality of some of the acts 
committed by the majority community (Muslims) in the areas most 
affected ” On April 2, Hindu and Sikh leaders made a demand 
for the partition of the Punjab and asked Mr Nehru to exercise 
lus influence in this direction 

Lord Wavell’s pro-League attitude and his clumsy handling 
of the political situation forced the British Government to recall 
him and send out Lord Mountbatten in his place The demand 
for the partition of the Punjab was placed before the new Viceroy 
On April 15, he was able to persuade Mr Jinnah to join Gandhiji 
m issuing a joint appeal for peace This appeal was received well 
m the foreign Press and the London Times observed that it marked 
“ an important change m the outlook of the Muslim League ” It 
did not, however, improve the situation in India one whit Many 
thought that Mr Jinnah had been persuaded into ssuing this 
appeal against his wishes and that he was, at heart, glad at the 
course ot events in the Punjab Muslim preparations for a large- 
scale offensive continued The Chief Secretary reported in April 
1947 that an additional 5,630 National Guards had been recruited 
“ In the Eastern Punjab active training has been confined mainly 
to Sim'a, Ambala Cantonment and Panipat where Guards have 
bee exercising secretly in lathi fighting ” He estimated that the 
number of Muslim League National Guards was about thirty-nine 
thousand 

Three days before this appeal was issued (on April 12) there 
was a recrudescence of trouble in Amritsar, after a respite of 
nearly five weeks Fifteen men were killed and thirty-two injured 
Fourteen places, including two factories m Qila Bhangian, three 
shops in Kucha Chhappar Wala and eight houses in Kucha Saroop 
Singh were entirely gutted The fire brigade recovered some pieces 
of cloth soaked m kerosene oil and a broken bottle of kerosene oil 
from m front of several houses From now onwards there was no 
peace m Amritsar or Lahore Arson and stabbing cases became 
a normal state of affairs and ceased to arouse surprise The resi- 
dents began to pursue their usual avocations regularly But there 
was no peace of mind, no feeling of security , a lurking fear haunted 
the men whether they were at home or outside A man walking 
along the Mall would suddenly turn round to make sure that he 



Stem Reckoning 


114 

was not about to be stabbed in the bade. People stopped going 
out to lonely places or paying friendly calls after dark. The non 
Muslims took special precautions for safeguarding their personal 
property In the narrow lanes of the city of Lahore barred iron 
gates were put up and these were closed at sundown. Women did 
not go out to shop unless accompanied by male members of their 
family Underneath the apparently normal life a continuous fear 
and tension gnawed at the hearts of men and the universal opinion 
was that worse things were yet to happen 

On May 9 serious trouble agam broke out m Amritsar 
On the following day a party of twelve Sikhs was returning 
to the city after cremating the body of a child They were waylaid 
by a gang of armed Muslims who beat them and then after s prink 
ling petrol upon them set fire to the bodies. Seven of the party 
died at the spot while the remaining five sustained severe wounds 
and bums. Other incidents followed and the Chief Secretary m 
bis official report said “Some of the acts committed (by the 
Muslims) were shocking in their stark brutality and an at lack on 
a funeral party of a child in which six Sikhs and one Hindu were 
killed has added to an already over long hst of Muslim a trod ties.” * 
When the Muslim badmashes of Amritsar noticed that trouble hsd 
not simu'taneously broken out at Lahore they sent some glass 
bangles to that city The present was intended to bring home to 
the Lahore Muslims their cowardice and effeminacy m not vmdi 
eating the honour of Islam. Trouble at once broke out in Lahore 
and on May 14 there were several stabbing cases m different 
parts of the city Nine persons were lolled and twenty injured. A 
Muslim mob armed with hatchets swords and lathis, mvaded the 
Shahalmi Gate area and set fire to a shop Early the following 
morning reports of gunshots could be beard from the direction of 
Mochi Gate. 

During the night an exchange of brickbats and bottles con 
taming explosive material had taken p.ace and a number of fires 
were started “ Deli nous noisy slogans and war cries rent the 
sky ” t Bitter fighting continued throughout the night People 
stood on the roofs of their houses shouting and hurling down 
bnclbats crude country made incendiary bombs and fire balls. 
On May 16 the intensity and bitterness of the conflict achieved a 
new record. The whole of the city seemed to be ablaze with a 

Tb« Chief XccrcuO U r»i>I be reimgib crcd. »U Umhi officer oi tba CitQ 

Ser>k» (Mr Akkmr Il—mlrO. 

art md UBUer? CtUtte UlJ M. JW7 



1 he Punjab 


115 


dozen mighty fues raging in different localities The stabbing 
went on unabated This state of affairs continued for several 
days Entire streets and rows of houses wete consumed by fire 
and reduced to a heap of rubble and ashes The bazaar inside 
Shahalnn Gate, once the main centre of the provisions trade, was 
reduced to a complete wreck Mounds of hot smouldering build- 
ing material made the road impassable The demolition of burnt 
or half-burnt houses to prevent the spread of fire added to the 
desolation I he bazaar inside Akbari Gate was a hot glowing 
oven Every shop and house had been destroyed in the non- 
Mushm blocks and bare blackened walls lined the street Hindus 
and Sikhs began to leave the city and, each day, during the hours 
when curfew was suspended, long lines of these unfortunate people, 
smitten by the scourge of religious frenzy, could be seen moving 
from all gates of the inner city and converging towards the railway 
station They carried beddings on their heads, sma’l bundles in 
their hands , the women carried young children and bundles of 
clothes hurriedly tied up in a duster or old dopaita They had left 
the major portion of their belongings to perish or to be looted They 
had abandoned their houses and shops to the future State of Paki- 
stan Their faces grim with the memory of what they had seen, 
their eyes full of a vague fear of the future, their minds darkened 
by the shadow that hung over their heads, their one conscious 
thought was ‘ flight,’ though the end of the journey was not in sight 
And so these pitiable processions of mute humanity continued to 
move day after day in an ever-mci easing volume From Multan, 
Gujranwala, Jhelum and Rawalpindi people were moving east- 
ward in batches of dozens and scores Soon this exodus became 
the rout of a helpless and defeated people 

The Muslim police and some of the Muslim Magistrates made 
a very important contribution to these destructive operations The 
Hindu and Sikh police personnel were kept on routine duty m 
the Police Lines while the Muslim constables and officers were 
entrusted with the duty of maintaining peace and enforcing the 
curfew orders The curfew was seen to work solely for the bene- 
fit of the Muslims During curfew hours Muslims were seen to 
move about freely A party of them would enter a Hindu shop 
or house and set fire to it with the help of petrol or fire-balls * 

* The fire-ball or fi le-gola as a came to be known was a new invention manufactured 
during the riots It consisted of a large roll of string and a cloth soaked m coal-tar and 
petrol It could remain alight for a considerable lime and proved to be a very efficient 
weapon for spreading fire 




116 


Stem Reckoning 


When the owners rushed out to extinguish the fire they were 
arrested or shot for violating the curfew orders If there were 
danger of the fire spreading to a Muslim building a Muslim group 
would arrive and, with the help of the police and the fire brigade 
control the fire. This procedure was adopted on a large scale in 
the Mozang area. Here the houses in the front line belonging to 
the non Muslims were burnt down while scarcely a single Muslim 
house was damaged. The activities of a Muslim Magistrate be- 
came notorious in Lahore. He was personally responsible for the 
death of Mr Sethi a Sub- Divisional Officer of the Electricity 
Department, who came out at night to attend to his official dudes, 
Mr Sethi had a curfew pass but the Muslim Magistrate ordered 
him to be arrested and withm a few minutes be was shot. When 
a privately owned fire brigade came to attend to a fire m a block 
of Hindu houses the water hose was cut under the orders of the 
same Muslim Magistrate. He remarked that the Municipal Fire 
Brigade was the only one entitled to attend to these fires. 

It was about this tune (May 1947) that the non Muslims in 
Lahore and Amritsar began to hit back. Rumours went round 
that the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh had taken upon them 
selves the duty of defending Hindu life and property There were 
cases of Muslims being stabbed both in Lahore and in Amritsar 
The results achieved by the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh were, 
however grossly exaggerated. The Hindus frequently boasted that 
they had not lacked courage in striking back. The Sikhs also 
bragged about what they had accomplished. There can be very 
httle doubt, however that m Lahore the Hindu and Sikh casualties 
far exceeded those of the Muslims while the Muslim loss m pro- 
perty was almost negligible. In Amritsar it was reported that 
the score was about even * though, there also the Hindu loss in 
property was several times the Muslim loss. 

In the meantime discussions and negotiations between the 
various political leaders and the Viceroy were proceeding The 
Congress was anxious to avoid a partition of the country and was 
prepared to make many concessions m order to retain the integral 
unity of India. Mr Jinnah, on the other hand was insistent on 
his demand for Pakistan. The non Muslims of the Punjab wanted 
a partition of the province if a separate Muslim State were set up, 

b tha mU of U»y Htatta lawyer paid a vtut co UiOb Jodaa of the Hi«* 
Com tid Jutax th* con of thi* kit a ittafwoa nn uw m rtcal ad Ire* 

Tka l furi— Jndja uid Uot^ntfr tkat tka teora la Atnntaar XI c»ea a»d that tha Jfaataa 
had ac* dooa to badly 



file Punjab 


117 


They said it would be impossible for them to live m Pakistan 
and pointed out that the events in the Muslim majority areas of 
West Punjab had amply demonstrated the utter futility of expect- 
ing the Musi 'ins to safeguard their life and property or treat them 
with justice The eastern districts had a predominantly non-Muslim 
population and there was no justification for including them in 
the Muslim State of Pakistan Mr Jinnah twisted this argument 
in his own tavour and urged the immediate necessity of dividing 
the country into Muslim majority and Hindu majority areas, each 
independent of the other This, he maintained, was the only solu- 
tion and the only way of putting an end to the fratricidal war The 
inexorable logic of separatism and the two-nation theory forced 
Mr Jinnah to accept the partition of the Punjab and Bengal “The 
moth-eaten and truncated Pakistan ” which he had spurned a few 
years previously was now the only choice before him But he was 
adamant and unequivocally declared that he must have a separate 
independent Muslim State and a Muslim homeland Once, during 
the discussions, when the unwisdom of cutting up the country and 
setting up two widely separated and attenuated States of Pakistan 
was pointed out to him he picked up a box of matches and, strik- 
ing a dramatic pose, exclaimed with considerable heat “ Even if 
I get so much territory for a separate State of Pakistan I shall 
insist on partition ” Further argument was useless Months of 
anxiety and tension had weakened the resisting power of the Con- 
gress leaders They had been struggling with the Muslim League 
both inside the Government and outside The pohcy of the Mus- 
lim League members of the Interim Government had been one of 
avowed obstruction They maintained that they had entered office 
merely to fight for Pakistan They were able to defeat almost every 
progressive measure which the Congress members were desirous 
of adoptmg The Interim Government had no unity or cohesion 
and the different departments of administration frequently pulled 
m different directions All over the country unrest and lawlessness 
were spreadmg and, m the Punjab, conditions bordering on utter 
anarchy prevailed Mr Nehru and his colleagues felt tired and 
helpless Frustration and chaos stared them m the face Years 
of suffering and hard labour had brought them to a blind alley and 
the only alternatives were ignominious retreat or a way out by 
the acceptance of partition They agreed to partition They with- 
drew their opposition to the establishment of a separate independ- 
ent State carved out of a united India They, however, insisted 



118 


Stem Reckoning 


that tile demand of the Sikhs for the partition of the Punjab and 
of the West Bengal Hindus for the partition of Bengal must bo 
conceded by Mr Jinnah Lord Mountbatten saw the justness of 
this demand and in this matter gave his full support to the 
Congress and Sikh leaders. The Punjab and Bengal were to bo 
divided the district of Sylbet was to bo separated from Assam 
and joined to East BengaL The boundaries would be demarcated 
by two Boundary Commissions specially set up for this purpose. 
The Mountbatten Plan of June 3 1947 was thus drawn up and 
agreed to by the various party leaders. This was the first occasion 
on which the different warring e ements m the country had attained 
some measure of unanimity and it was hoped that with the 
implementation of this scheme sanity would return to the land 
and constructive action take the place of disorder and despair It is 
not necessary to discuss the Mountbatten Plan and its implications 
or the difficulties and dangers inherent m the mode of partition 
proposed. The Boundary Commissions and their terms of refer 
once were subjected to bitter criticism in many quarters. It was 
said that the whole thing was a complete farce and only sDJy people 
could expect a fair and just decision from a tribunal whose Chan- 
man did not attend a single hearing, though it was he and he 
alone m whose hands rested the ultimate decision * There was 
however no other way in which this matter could be disposed of 
as expeditiously or with greater satisfaction to all concerned. Time 
was a vital consideration. Conditions in the Punjab showed little 
improvement, the attitude of the Muslim Leaguo was hardening 
and the British Government had agreed to hand over power on 
August 15 1947 Everything had to be rushed through at break 
neck speed for it was hoped that with the transference of power 
and the establishment of Pakistan the feeling of frustration among 
the Muslim masses would disappear and their anger would be 
appeased. The Congress leaders did not envisage the complete 
collapse of the administrative machinery and the stampede that 
followed the attainment of independence. Attacks by Muslims m 
West Punjab were followed by counter attacks by Sikbs and Hindus 
m East Punjab Reprisal followed retaliation till the whole province 
was one seething cauldron of hate and bestial passions. The poison 
infected the unlettered and ignorant masses as uefi as the educated 



The Punjab 


119 


nudd'e classes , it spread to the officials upon whom rested the 
duty of maintaining law and order, it corrupted the police and 
the army who were entrusted with the safety and security of the 
citizens , it antagonized friends and neighbours till they turned 
upon each other with murderous frenzy Muslims and non-Muslims 
vied with each other in degrading themselves to the lowest level 
of barbarity What had been happening in West Punjab since 
March began to happen in East Punjab in August and the grim 
sport of murder and rapine was played on both sides with equal 
ferocity But while the Government of India and the East Punjab 
Government mobilized all their resources to quell the disturb- 
ances, the West Punjab Government gave encouragement to the 
rowdy elements by many official and unofficiall acts The first 
of these was the release of all Muslims who had been detained 
under the Punjab Public Safety Act or who had been convicted 
of crimes committed during communal riots Even persons who 
had been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment on charges of 
murder and other acts of violence were released The restriction 
on the carrying of swords was removed the day after Pakistan was 
established Muslims were encouraged to carry swords and Dis- 
trict Magistrates were instructed to grant arms licences freely to 
Muslims * 

The following pages contain a biief account of the main inci- 
dents in the various districts of West Punjab during August 
and the following months Considerations of space and time make 
it impossible to give full and complete details of the atrocities 
committed by the Muslims or the suffering to which the 
non-Muslims were subjected An attempt has, however, been 
made to give a true overall picture of these happenings 
The reader will notice many important omissions but it is hoped 
that he will not find false or exaggerated stories Every effort 
has been made to verify and check the correctness of the narrative, 
and drab understatement has been preferred to picturesque 
probability Allowance had frequently to be made for the angry 
mood of the refugees, then: tendency to exaggerate their suffering 
and mvite sympathy by magnifying the extent of their losses It 
is, however, believed that the account given m these pages is as 
near the truth as is possible m any historical narrative 


* Many months later when Muslims had been completely evacuated the East Punjab 
Government also issued similar instructions These instructions were intended to check the 
border disturbances which were assuming serious proportions 




120 


Stern Reckoning 


Lahore District 

Lord Loins Mountbattcn paid a visit to Lahore on July 22, 
1947 and as a measure of caution or anticipation directed the 
shadow Government of Hast Punjab to move their headquarters to 
Simla. He at the same tune gave assurance to the residents of 
Lahore that there was no finality about this move Simla was in 
any case the summer capital of the Punjab and if Lahore eventually 
fell to the share of India the Government could move back with 
out great inconvenience. In the meantime a Boundary Force 
would bo constituted and this would furnish adequate protection 
to the life and property of all communities. The Viceroy’s dcclar 
ation heartened the Muslims and they interpreted it as an mdi 
cation that Lahore would be assigned to Pakistan. To the non 
Muslims it came as a hideous shock, as they had entertained high 
hopes of the Boundary Commission. According to the terms of 
reference the boundary between the two countries was to be drawn 
on the basis of contiguous majority areas * but other factors 
would also be taken mto consideration The non Muslims naturally 
assumed that 44 other factors ” meant financial economic strategic 
and social interests Lahore had been built with non Muslim 
capital and enterprise 80 per cent of the property in Lahore was 
owned by non Muslims and the social life of the city centred round 
the Hindus and Sikhs. The Ravi (if not the Chcnab) was the 
only feasible boundary from the geographical and strategic point 
of view and the non Muslims had been happy in the thought that 
the claim of Pakistan based merely on census figures was effete 
and untenable. The Viceroy’s order directing a move to Simla 
shattered these hopes and many non Muslims felt that they would 
have to migrate to India in the immediate or distant future. There 
were others who believed that once Pakistan, as an independent 
State were established and recognized, peaceful conditions would 
return and members of all communities would bo able to live 
and pursue their avocations undisturbed and unmolested. To 
them the proposal to constitute a Boundary Force came as a great 
relief, for they felt that the Army at any rate would not take sides 
and would enforce law and order with complete impartiality 
These hopes alas, did not find realization. 


ThI* m lawirtai tfua term u U dd m werifr »kil tbe oaft ol Om «i*» 
wu to b* wluther k wu to b* * ctxrta. tttaO. mil cr riUtr*. Broaiflr nolkt 
k w*j trttmdtd tint Malm ■alcrtr utu (nckagai hUadj) tbouJd ba tarfjae d to Fatfctu 
kmd tka Htada majertty utu to IrtJU. 





•ShaftaJml Cat t Labor* ajtrr tht fir* and rioting fn Jun * 



The Punjab 


121 


On August 8, some members of the Boundary Commission 
came back to Lahore after having held discussion with Sir Cyril 
RadclilTe m Simla The next day, all over Lahore, posters pur- 
poiting to have been issued by some Muslim Associations were 
put up They proclaimed that if Lahore were awarded to India 
the Muslims of Lahore would not accept the Award of the 
Boundary Commission and would retain the town by force On 
the nights of August 10 and 11, meetings were held in various 
mosques in the city and Muslims were called upon to make a 
ruthless attack on non-Muslims On the 1 1th morning, it was 
generally known in Lahore that very soon it would become impos- 
sible for non-Muslims to live there Some Muslims issued warn- 
ings to their non-Muslim friends and advised them to leave the 
town at om.e Trouble began inside the city early on the morning 
of the L 1th and on the following days spiead to the whole town 
and to the Cantonment area 

Mohalla Kharasian was attacked by a mob of five hundred 
armed Muslims, led by National Guards and a Sub-Inspector of 
Police Mohalla Sarin was attacked in the afternoon Fires were 
started in various parts of the city and by the evening the 
residents of the Civil Lines saw a huge wall of flames and smoke 
standing against the sky Throughout the day groups of Muslims 
armed with guns, pistols, spears, hatchets and lathis wandered about 
the streets, attacking non-Muslims and setting fire to shops and 
houses Non-Muslims remained imprisoned in their houses Some 
of them were dragged out by the hooligans and slaughtered The 
official communique stated that there were twenty-five fires blazing 
in Lahore on that day, of which eight were of a serious nature 
The Mayo Hospital received fifty-six dead bodies and one hundred 
and twenty injured persons Thirty injured persons were received 
at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital It is needless to say that only those 
persons who required medical treatment were carried to the hos- 
pital and the deaths of many others who were killed at the spot 
were not even reported On the 12th, the Mayo Hospital received 
eighty-seven dead bodies and two hundred injured Bharat Nagar 
and Mohan Lai Road were subjected to a bitter attack during 
the course of which many non-Muslims perished Several houses 
in Bhaiat Nagar were looted and set fire to Kaliban Mandir was 
looted and defiled Non-Muslims were bemg killed all over the 
city, m the presence of police constables, and their property was 
bemg looted At the railway station one hundred and twenty non- 
9 



122 


Stern Reckoning 


Muslims were waiting to catch a train for Amritsar On the plat 
form were twenty fho Sindi Muslim constables guarding treasury 
chests. Some Muslims threw stones at the police constables and, 
according to a prearranged plan the constables at once began to 
fire at the Hindus waiting for their train. Fifteen persons were 
killed and twelve wounded. 

The Lahore Railway Station became a veritable death-trap 
between August 12 and August 18 The riots m the city compelled 
the non Muslims to leave, and their only avenue of escape was 
the railway station, because journey by road was far more perilous. 
On the evening of August 11 the railway station was packed with 
passengers. The coolies dictated their own terms for carrying 
luggage and were able to get fantastic sums of money There 
was a general state of tension and anxiety and when news 
came that the Sind Express, on its way to Lahore had been 
attacked by Muslims panic spread among the passengers. The 
Smd Express arrived soon afterwards and the non M uslim 
volunteers rushed forward to bung out the dead bodies from the 
various compartments. They found that men women and 
children had been brutally murdered and were lying in pools 
of blood. The dead bodies were earned across several plat 
forms and a hush fell upon the intending non Muslim pas- 
sengers who stood rooted to the ground and watched their luggage 
with vague and gnm forebodings while all that was visible of the 
aty of Lahore was a huge tower of smoko Fortunately a Muslim 
refugee train amved from Amritsar at this time and the Muslim 
\olunteers became engaged m bnngmg out the Muslim passengers 
and their luggage The passengers who left by tiws Frontier Mad 
were attacked near Wahga. The Bhatmda Express however 
reached its destination safely The next day it became impossible 
for non Muslims even to reach the railway station. They were 
caught and massacred on the way The Baluch Regiment took a 
very prominent part in this slaughter On August 14 and 15 the 
railway station became a scene of wholesale carnage. According 
to one witness there was a continuous ram of bullets at the railway 
station. The military shot and plundered non Muslims freely The 
passengers from a refugee train from Sacha Sauda came out to get 
drinking water and thirteen of them were shot dead. A Hindu 
passenger was pushed into the compartment of a moving tram and 
found himself surrounded by Baluchis. He was robbed of every 




Tfie destruction wrought in Shuhalmi Cate, Lahore 




The Punjab 


123 


thing he had, his clothes were taken off till he was stark naked 
and then the Baluchis began to kick him and strangle him , they 
continued this game of slow torture till the man fell senseless His 
unconscious body was then thrown out as dead, but he succeeded 
m struggling back to life and lived to tell his horrible tale 

The Liaison Officer of the East Punjab Government wrote 
“ In Lahore you will not find a single Hindu or Sikh anywhere 
m the city or the Civil Station walking about In some places, 
however, people in hundreds are living together m a small room 
to avoid slaughter ” A number of important officials were picked 
out and murdered m a shameless manner The District Engmeer, 
Mr S P R Sawhney, had gone to Dalhousie on leave during 
August He returned to Lahore on September 1 1 and was advised 
by his Muslim friends and colleagues to leave immediately He 
went to his office on September 12 to hand over charge, and in 
his office he was attacked by some Muslims who dragged him out, 
tied him to a post and then sawed his body mto several pieces 
m a diabolical manner that baffles comprehension 

Mr Vir Bhan, the Deputy Director of Industries, had opted 
for India and made arrangements to leave Lahore on August 9 
He had, however, to postpone his departure as he was entrusted 
with certain work connected with the partition of his Department 
When the disturbances began on August 11, a police force of about 
ten constables was posted at his house for his protection On 
August 14, the situation m Lahore took a turn for the worse 
Mr Vir Bhan decided to send his family away to Simla He 
accordingly asked his wife to pack her things and himself went to 
his office to arrange for a truck which had been placed at his 
disposal Before leaving the house he asked his orderly to get 
some coolies for loading the truck It appears that the Muslim 
orderly brought four coolies and concealed them somewhere in 
the house Mr Vir Bhan returned with the military truck and told 
his orderly to have the luggage placed on it He was standing in 
the drawing room, reading a letter, when he was suddenly attacked 
by four men who began to stab him with daggers On hearing his 
cries, his wife ran up and she, too, was stabbed Mr Vir Bhan 
staggered out of the room and collapsed in the verandah His 
daughter was dressing m her room and when she came out she 
saw her parents lying in pools of blood while the Muslim orderly 
and the four murderers were carrying away luggage from the 
house The police guard pointed their guns at her and accused 



124 


Stern Reckoning 


her of murdering her father These policemen searched the per 
sons of Mr and Mrs. Vir Bhan and removed a wrist watch and 
currency notes while the pool girl stood watching the gnm drama 
completely helpless. It was with considerable difficulty that 
Mrs. Vir Bhan was allowed to be taken to the hospital to receive 
medical treatment 

Mr Madan Gopal Singh the Registrar of the Punjab Uni 
vorsity was asked to go to Lahore towards the end of August and 
an assurance was given to him that he would be protected and 
provided with an armed escort and trucks for evacuating the non 
Muslim staff of the University Ho accordingly went to Lahore by 
air on August 24 No escort was however provided and when 
Mr Smgh saw the Govemqr of West Punjab he was told that 
trucks would be made available on September 2. On the morning 
of September 1 a peon of the University went to Mr Smgh s house 
and told him that the new Registrar Mr Bashir wished to see him 
m his office. Mr Singh went to the office at 9 a.m. but did not 
find Mr Bashir there. He was told that Mr Bashir had gone up 
to see the Vice-Chancellor whose office was on the first floor of 
the building. Mr Smgh came out of the room to go upstair* and 
in the verandah he was attacked by three men who inflicted nine 
wounds on his person and then ran away Some members of the 
University staff were working m the room* near the verandah but 
no one came out to answer Mr Smgh s cnes. Mr Smgh was still 
alive and he wai placed in a car and driven to the hospital The 
car however was driven at an extremely Blow pace and the dig 
tancc of two miles is said to have been covered in forty five 
minutes. When the car arrived at the hospital Mr Smgh s life 
was extinct. 

The massacre of the non Muslims who had taken shelter in 
Gurdwara Hargobind on Temple Road was another Incident of 
extreme barbarity About three hundred and fifty non Muslim* 
were confined m this Gurdwara which was being guarded by a 
unit of Hindu military On August 14 the Hindu guard was 
replaced by a M uslim guard. The same evening a number of fire 
balls were thrown made the Gurdwara and when the non Muslims, 
driven by these flames, came out they were shot dead by the 
Muslim guard or stabbed by members of the Muslim National 
Guards. Every one of the three hundred and fifty was killed in 
this manner The attack had been carefully planned and a member 
of the National Guards had spoken of it to a Hindu fnend a 






Th* destruction of non Muslim houses and thop* in Mozart q 





Hie Punjab 


125 


day before This Hindu friend had been temporarily converted to 
Islam and later related the story of the attack Most of the 
dead bodies were carried away in military trucks and only a few 
were left lying in front of the Gurdwara 

Model Town was attacked on August 14, and the National 
Guards shot several non-Mushms who had taken shelter in a 
camp The fortunate arrival of Dogra soldiers prevented what 
might have been a wholesale slaughter of the camp dwellers On 
August 28. a paint and varnish factory was attacked and the 
National Guards carried away the machinery, raw material, fur- 
niture and other goods from the premises in bullock-carts It 
took them a week to do this, and the bullock-carts had to make 
four hundred trips for the purpose but no policeman or military 
man interfered Single lorries carrying non-Mushms through the 
town were frequently attacked On one occasion the police fired 
shots at the tyres of a lorry to stop it The driver and the 
passengers were ordered to get down and stand in a row The 
police constables then began to shoot them one by one 

In the Cantonments looting and arson began on August 16 
The Fire Brigade was summoned but the Muslims did not allow it 
to function The disturbance spread to all parts of the Canton- 
ments and, between August 21 and September 1, the whole of 
the Cantonment area was plundered and the non-Muslim houses 
occupied by Muslims 

Thousands of non-Muslims left the city and found shelter 
in a camp set up in the D A V College Of the three 'akhs 
non-Muslims living m Lahore before the trouble began only ten 
thousand were left on August 19, and, by the end of August, there 
were not more than a few Hindus and Sikhs in houses and these, 
too, were waiting for an opportunity to go away 

Conditions in the rural areas were equally bad It was, 
however, easy for the villagers to escape from a border district 
and run away to India There were numerous mob attacks result- 
ing m considerable loss of life and property Pattoki was attacked 
on August 20 and nearly two hundred and fifty non-Muslims were 
killed The non-Muslim shops were looted and set fire to The 
Baluch military participated in this attack Many non-Muslim 
houses m Kasur were burnt down and destroyed Riotmg broke 
out m this town on August 18, and about ninety non-Muslims were 



126 


Stem Reckoning 


tilled, and many more injured Non Muslims waiting at the Kosur 
Railway Station were attacked and several of them were tilled.* 

Sheikhupura District 

The British Government had declared that the interests of the 
Sikh community would receive special consideration m detcrmi 
ning the mode of partition and demarcating the boundary line 
between India and Pakistan. The distort of Sheikhupura was a 
Muslim majority areat but the Sikhs formed a substantial minority 
comprising 18 85 per cent of the total population. They were 
almost mainly responsible for the agricultural development of the 
district and had important religious and cultural associations In 
Nankana Sahib the birth place of Guru Nanai the founder of the 
Sikh religion, and m Sacha Sauda an important ahnne glorify 
mg ‘the piety of his childhood days % The fears of the non 
Muslims in the district were therefore somewhat allayed by the hope 
that the Boundary Commission would allot the district to India 
and they would be permitted to keep their homes and lands. For 
this reason no large scale exodus from Sheikhupura took place 
before August 17 on which date the Radchffe Award was announced 
and a stampede for safety began. The minorities were taken at 
a disadvantage arrangements for evacuation could not be made 
immediately every posable obstacle was placed in their way by 
the Civil Administration and the military and for several days no 
escape was possible and while men, women and children, 
uprooted from their homes ran hither and thither like hunted 
animals and crowded mto refugee camps, a most ruthless cam 
paign of murder rape arson and loot was launched upon them. 
Wherever they went horror and despair faced them bloodthirsty 
gangs of marauders confronted them on the country roads in 
towns in refugee camps even in trams Sheikhupura became 
a by word during the months that followed In West Punjab 
Muslim hooligans used it to intimidate tbc minorities mto handing 
over their property accepting Islam or quitting their homes. “ If 
you do not do &s you arc told, they said M we shall enact another 
Sheikhupura here." Tho horror and wrath which it continued to 


Sc» ii*o tiblo U Appc ushf U lot Iflcxtemi la rnr»J wtu 
t UntiM o g» btw d UU po cent o< tt»s tool DowlaUo*. 

TtijlltJoo hi, k LhjJ N,r*f» fiitV* cat P'c Ua wne Money »od wn Ua to bur 
ptovWom let tenia* up • »bop. TW ratio* NinI mod tbt metier to £«ed tone fdhni 
and retrmtd bam* cmptr-kaotletl Ho told fcfc, father that k* Kid ■ curd dw mootj 
bi rtM comWcitM ol Truth. 



The Punjab 


127 


evoke in the hearts of the non-Muslims for months afterwards 
cannot be gauged by a future student of History Nothing of 
this nature or on this scale had ever taken place m India, and 
understanding is staggered at the depth and extent of the 
murderous fury displayed alike by the unruly Muslim hooligans 
and the disciplined Police and Army personnel stationed at 
Sheikhupura To give a picture of the events which took place at 
Sheikhupura we cannot do better than quote from the eye-witness 
accounts of a few persons who were fortunate enough to survive 
the massacre which continued for three whole days These 
statements ‘have been chosen on grounds of smcenty and for 
their lack of exaggeration The first of these was given by the 
Civil Surgeon of Sheikhupura 

“ Mr C H Disney, the Deputy Commissioner, was mostly 
away from Sheikhupura during the month of August 1947 He 
was camping at Nankana Sahib The Additional District Magis- 
trate, Pir Karam Shah, PCS, used to be m charge of the adminis- 
tration at District Headquarters during the absence of Mr Disney 
Pir Karam Shah is a case of high blood pressure and I had to 
visit him daily, morning and evening, since the trend of events 
always worried him and brought about symptoms of high blood 
pressure These visits afforded me many opportunities to come 
m contact with people who were to control and order the butcher- 
ing of Hindus and Sikhs 

“During one of these visits, on August 11 or so, a Canal 
telegram was received by the Additional District Magistrate that 
Sikhs had actually attacked Joyanwala Canal Colony and the 
Muslims living there Mr Mohammad Anwar, a local lawyer and 
the President of the Muslim League, was there A hasty con- 
sultation was held between the Additional District Magistrate and 
Mr Mohammad Anwar The military and police were despatched 
to Joyanwala and, later on, returned to the Additional District 
Magistrate’s house to report that no such attack had taken place 
The Sub-Divisional Officer (Canals), thinking that the Canal 
Colony was predominantly Muslim, had sent that telegram in 
pamc Mr Mohammad Anwar told the Additional District 
Magistrate that four Sikhs, fully armed, had been spied by the 
Muslim League volunteers going to Kot Pmdi Das, a village with 
purely Hindu and Sikh population Mr Mohammad Anwar was 
of the opinion that unless strong action were taken Muslim lives 
in the whole district were m danger At this Mr Ahmad Shaffi, 



m 


Stem Reckoning 


Section 30 Magistrate who was also present, suddenly flared up 
and said that m the very near future strong action with a capital 
S would be taken m the district I was naturally alarmed at this 
remark As about ten Hindu and Sikh gazetted officers were 
stranded at Sbcikhupura without any means of going to India, a 
jomt representation was made to the Deputy Commissioner to 
afford us facilities to leave Sheikhupura. This representation 
was treated with the utmost discourtesy In fact, wc were told 
that there were many Muslim gazetted officers who were stranded 
m India and were being murdered daily Wc made desperate 
efforts to leave Pakistan but in vain as the nogs put round us 
were very tight All vehicular traffic motor cars tongas, cycles, 
gomg out of Sbcikhupura were stopped except with the written 
permission of the Additional District Magistrate on August 20 
or so People were flocking mto Sbcikhupura town from Gujran 
wa'a District and its rural areas as Sbcikhupura was considered 
the safest place m Pakistan- This caused great congestion id 
the town, 

“Another factor to be noted is that Muslim refugees began 
to arrive m Sheikhupura from August 21 onwards. They related 
hysterical tales about their sufferings. The Muslin League 
volunteers and Mr Ahmad Shaffl PCS used to promise early 
revenge even m my presence. 

“ Mr Mohammad Anwar the Muslim League President, was 
always consulted by the Additional District Magistrate or the 
Magistrates whenever any conference about the disturbed condi 
tions in the district took place. In fact, ho used to dictate the 
action to be taken against non Muslims. 

“ Mr C H. Disney the Deputy Commissioner came back 
from Nankana Sahib on August 24 and amidst all sorts of rumours 
about the disturbed conditions in the Sbcikhupura District a 
curfew was clamped on the town from 6 pan. to 6 am. This 
was the first time that a curfew had been promulgated in the 
town even though there had been Muslim League and Sikh agi 
tation before The people received the news as a very bad omen. 
The Hindus and Sikhs bad been stabbed m trains running between 
Lahore and Lyallpur from August 21 onwards. The slabbers 
were particularly active at Sheikhupura Railway Station. Un 
known bodies of about twelve Hindus and Sikhs had been sent in 
for post mortem examination with stab or gunshot wounds. 



The Punjab 129 

Naturally people took this curfew order to mean their extinction 
and it proved to be so 

“ At about 2 a m on August 25, the town was ablaze Some 
Hmdu and Sikh shops in the main bazaar had been set on fire 
The military and police reached the spot and anybody coming 
out of their houses to extinguish the fire was shot at The Deputy 
Commissioner reached the spot later on He decided to lift the 
curfew then and there, and so it was announced by him and by 
the police The people rushed to extinguish the fire The Baluch 
soldiers of the Punjab Boundary Force stationed there for pro- 
tective purposes began to shoot these people One died on the 
spot and another, Hakim Lachhman Singh, was hit by a bullet at 
about 2-30 am in the main street near the place where the fire 
was ragmg He was not allowed to be moved to the hospital till 
7am next morning He died of the gunshot wound in his chest 
a few hours later, as nothing could be done to save his life after 
so much time About four Sikhs and two Hindus were also 
stabbed in running trams One of the Sikhs was a pohce constable 
A medico-legal certificate about his injuries was issued to him 
by me His statement was not recorded by the police even on 
repeated requests in my presence as some people of the Sheikhu- 
pura town were involved in that stabbing Another feature, 
most alarming to the people, was the disarmmg of the Sikh and 
Hmdu police at Sheikhupura from Sub-Inspector down to 
constables All of them were asked to deposit their kit and their 
arms in the Civil Lines Police Station and to quit the Police Lines 
God only knows their fate August 25 dawned with all bad 
omens The town began to be evacuated The people began to 
go to the villages They were ordered to stay in the town bv 
the local authorities and anybody leaving the town was liable to 
be shot The people then began to flock to the Civil Lines Each 
bungalow in the Civil Lmes became a refugee centre for the people 
from the city 

“ At about 10 a m people began to talk of the curfew being 
again imposed from 2-30 p m on August 25 to 6 a m on August 26 
This curfew order was never promulgated A Baluch Officer came 
and asked the Superintendent of the Deputy Commissioner’s office 
who was my neighbour to get the curfew order promulgated in the 
town There were no peons, no conveyances and no men available 
to do this The Military officer was informed accordingly He left 
the place, saying that he had orders to contact the Superintendent 



130 


Stern Reckoning 


only If the Superintendent had no arrangements he should 
see the Deputy Commissioner himself. The Deputy Commissioner 
was not on the phone the stabbers were out in the town and no 
one was safe on the roads. The publicity van was not used, for this 
purpose even on repeated requests. And so the curfew order was 
never promulgated. It will not be out of place to mention here that 
all the Punjab Boundary Force stationed at Sheikhupura consisted 
of Baluch Muslims with the exception of six Hindus who were 
kept m the office for paper work. 

“ The real trouble started at about 2 30 pm The Armed 
Police was stationed on all the level crossings and all the outlets 
of the town One of the policemen told me that the Sikhs were 
attacking the town and the Baluch soldiers had gone in action 
against them from Ramgarh side Smoke was issuing from Ram 
garb a suburb of Sheikhupura and from the bazaar Later on 
it was found that the Sikh and Hindu shops were on fire The 
reports of firing increased in intensity and reached a real firing 
line type Jeeps -carrying Baluch soldiers were seen hurrying 
to the town. There was no mistaking from the cries of the town 
people as to who were the victims. The fire came nearer and 
nearer the hospital. At about 6 30 pm. a mob of Muslims, 
headed by Dr Sahmi and his son and some policemen m uniform, 
crying ia Ah Ya All attacked the house of Mr Des Raj 
Advocate about a hundred yards from my bungalow They shot 
Des Raj s son and one daughter They kidnapped two of his 
daughters and the wife of Mr Barlow a Sub-Judge who was 
staying there as a guest Then the house was set on fire and 
completely burnt down. Three belmeted policemen in uniform 
and one man from the mob entered the hospital compound and 
came towards my quarters. These people bolted all the door* 
of my house from outside and went away We were naturally 
alarmed at this. 

u At night the fury both of the burning fires and of shooting 
increased to an alarming degree. The Hindus and Sikhs, in the 
name of then 1 gods were crying for mercy but apparently in 
vain as an incident narrated below showed. 

“At about midnight Lt Shephard of the Baluch Regiment 
brought to the hospital a Sikh child who in the words of the 
Lieutenant, had been haled karoed He told me that the whole 
family of seven men and women had been murdered and that 
people were being borribl) massacred m the town. He also said 



The Punjab 131 

that the two English Lieutenants were on duty in the camp and not 
m the town 

“Throughout the night the burning of the town and the 
killing of the people, as evidenced by their cries of mercy, con- 
tinued Twice the mob entered the hospital crying ‘ Y a Ah, Ya 
Ah,’ and passed through it and then attacked the houses on the 
other side of the hospital 

“ In the midst of burnmg fires and the shooting of guns 
August 26 dawned During the mght the old city, Ramgarh, the 
mam bazaar and adjoining portions were completely burnt out 
On the mornmg of the 26th it was proclaimed by the police that 
the rice mil ls had been chosen as refugee camps and neople m 
difficult circumstances should go there for safety as military and 
police would protect them there 

“ The firing on the 26th was most concentrated m Guru Nanak 
Pura, a locality adjacent to the hospital Here we saw the most 
ghastly sights and the most organized butchering of Hindus and 
Sikhs The technique was as follows First the Baluch soldiers 
and police came and shot at everybody on the road or on the 
houses Following them were persons carrymg tms of kerosene 
oil, etc These people soaked rags in petrol or kerosene oil and 
set fire to the houses When the houses were ablaze the inmates 
either came out on the road, where the military got them, or they 
crossed over to the adjacent houses and thus caused congestion 
in particular localities This especially occurred in the Govern- 
ment quarters of the Clerical Establishment The stabbers were 
then let loose on these houses These fiends broke open the doors 
with axes and hammers and butchered the inmates, men and 
women, and abducted the girls within then: sight Whosoever tried 
to run away fell a victim to the shots of the Baluchis and the 
policemen Having thus cleared away all the living population 
the looters began to ransack the houses under the very nose of 
the policemen At about 10 o’clock, trench-mortar fire was heard 
m Guru Nanak Pura locality In all we heard about ten mortar 
shots Since the firing came nearer and nearer to the hospital 
and the people had been killed under our very noses, we hid 
ourselves in the dark room attached to the X-ray Department of 
the hospital It proved to be the safest place While hiding there 
in the dark room we heard woeful cries of Hindu and Sikh 
children as they were done to death by the Muslim mob The 
cry of one child was particularly heart-rending At about 2 pm 



132 


Stem Reckoning 


wc heard the cry Do not cut my throat Do not cut my throat 
You have already killed my parents. Take mo with you. He 
was killed m tho hospital verandah about twenty pace* from us. 

“ A hospital cook Gopal by name being the toughest and 
the most trustworthy servant, volunteered to stay out of the dark 
room and tell us at guarded moments what was happening outside 
In case he had to communicate with us the pass word was 
Sheikh Sahib shouted thrice with intervals. Until he did this 
no one of us m the dark room was to reply At about 3 p.m. 
Gopal gave us a warning that the military men were in the hos- 
pital and that some children had been killed m the hos 
pital compound. He returned after a while to report that my house 
had been surrounded by about fifty soldiers. Here Gopal got a 
brain wave He told the military men that 1 and the dispenser 
with a few servants had left the hospital to go to some village and 
that the mob had found us and murdered us. Gopal said that our 
dead bodies were lying m the fields Ho was intimidated but stuck 
to his story A short while afterwards the firing m tho hospital 
increased m fury and hand grenades were heard bursting. Gopal 
to d us afterwards that the military had attacked my house and 
finding it empty they had their revenge on the hospital patients. 
There were eight patients m the hospital all Hindus and Sikhs 
Muslims having left en bloc a day previously None of these 
patients was alive on August 27 Gopal told me afterwards that 
Oazi Ahmad Shaffi. PCS and K. S Bakar Hussain, Super 
mtendent of Police were present for two hours in tho hospital 
compound directing the fire especially at my house. Tho firing 
in the hospital died down at about 6 pa The groans of the 
injured nearing their end were heard from all round the hospital 
We remained in the dark room till the 27th morning. 

“ All the injured who were brought to the hospital by the 
military told us that they had been shot by tho Bnluch soldiers 
or stabbed m their presence by Muslim mobs on the 25th or 26th, 
The miured also told me that the Baluch soldiers had collected 
the Hindus and Sikhs in the rice mills on the false pretext of 
protecting them Having got these men in these places tho military 
first asked them to hand over their valuables and then mercilessly 
killed them. 

** The Hindu and Sikh Military Force arrived on the 27th 
evening and ue heaved a sigh of relict 



The Punjab 


H3 

“The number of the injured swelled to four hundred indoor 
patients and about two hundred walking patients Besides these 
there were women and young girls in all forms of nakedness Even 
the ladies of most respectable families had the misfortune of having 
undergone this most terrible experience The wife of an Advocate 
had practically nothing on when she came to the hospital The 
casualties among the males and females were about equal About 
a hundred wounded children were amongst the casualties 

“*'lhe Officer Commanding the Baluch Para Troops, 1st 
Battalion, came to the hospital at about noon I had a talk with 
him His words were “All this has happened because the senior 
officers had gone on lease’ The Commanding Officer placed the 
services of his Unit Medical Officer, Captain Zia-ul-Hussan, 
l A M C , at my disposal 1 his officer, though always at the hos- 
pital, ne\er dressed a single case nor administered any medicine 
to any Hindu or Sikh wounded He was always an obstacle in 
the way of getting amenities and treatment foi the patients 

3“ In the end 1 feel honour-bound to record that the lives of my 
children and those of about six hundred educated Hindus and 
Sikhs, male and female, of the Civil Lines, were saved by the 
efforts of some God-fearing Muslims who gave them shelter in 
their houses, even at the risk of then: lives.” 

What happened at the rice nulls is related by an eye-witness 
in the following terms 

“ On August 26, at about 7 a m , I reached the mill of Sardar 
Atma Singh There were about seven or eight thousand non- 
Muslim refugees from all parts of the town collected there At 
about 8am the Muslim Baluch military surrounded the null 
and then a shot was fired which resulted m the death of a woman 
inside the mi'l After that. Swarm Anand Smgh, President of the 
Congress Committee, went to the military men with a green flag 
m his hand and asked them what they wanted He said that the 
entire non-Muslim, property m the town had been burnt and 
looted The military men demanded twenty-six hundred rupees 
which were paid After this another shot was fired and a man 
was killed, and, on bemg agam requested by Swami Anand Smgh, 
they demanded another twelve hundred rupees which were also 
paid But after this they told us that they wanted to search all 
the refugees and that we should come out and whosoever remain- 
ed m would be shot dead All the seven thousand or eight 



134 


Stem Reckoning 


thousand refugees went out and then they were told that they 
should give up all cash and valuables which they had. Swann 
Anand Singh advised the unfortunate refugees to comply with this 
demand. In a short while a pile of seven or eight maunds of gold 
was collected at the spot and about thirty or forty lakhs of rupees. 
All this wealth was taken away by the military men. Then they 
began to pick and choose young girls from the refugees, but when 
this was being done Swarm Anand Singh objected, upon which he 
was shot dead. Thereafter one of the Muslim Baluch military 
men took bold of a young gni and began to molest her in the 
presence of all the non Muslim refugees. This became intolerable 
and a young Hindu attacked the Baluch soldier Thereupon all 
the Baluch soldiers began to fire upon the refugees and while the 
front rows of the refugees stood up the non Muslims began to kill 
their young girls to save their honour In the meantime ihe firing 
upon the refugees continued and people began to fall and die on 
the spot I lay down on the ground bchmd a tree. After some 
tune seeing that it would be impossible to survive if t remained 
there in a hysterical state of mind I stood up and under the 
shower of bullets I scaled the adjoining wall and jumped down 
on the other side. During this interval there was a ram of bullets 
over my head and under my feet and I cannot imagine bow I 
remained alive. On the other side a Baluch soldier who was 
standing on guard aimed his gun at me when I was very close to 
him, but I jumped and rushed at him and was able to ’match away 
his gun. I strDck him with the butt-end and be became un 
conscious. All the time there were showers of bullets around me 
but I ran with the greatest speed that I could gather and went 
away into the fields and ultimately found shelter in an adjoin mg 
mill under the jute bags lying there. I heard reports of guns being 
fired inside the mill and, after two or three hoars fearing that I 
might be discovered I went up to the mill inside a room where 
two young unfortunate Hindu girls had also taken refuge. From 
that place of vantage I could see what was happening to tho non 
Muslim refugees in the mill which I had left Those who could 
escape alive from the bullets of the Baluch soldiers were being 
attacked by an armed Muslim mob outside and were being killed 
on the spot in a most savage fashion In one instance they 
snatched a young child from the arms of his mother cut it into 
two and stabbed the mother with a spear 



The Punjab 


135 


“ After some time, seeing that it was impossible to escape 
alive from there, I could think of no means of escape, but seeing 
a Mohammedan constable who was an jold friend of mine I came 
down with the two refugee Hindu girls pretending that they were 
my sisters The Mohammedan constable was near by when we 
were about to be attacked by other raiders I beckoned to him 
and begged him to save mine and my sisters’ lives Fortunately 
he agreed and took us away stealthily to a village Mahan Kalan ” 

The experience of a nch Reis is also worth recording 

“ The Muslim military came looting the houses and 
shops of Hindus and Sikhs on our side We saw the house of 
Sardar Bahadur Buta Singh which was opposite mine being looted 
The goods were removed in a truck by twenty men This made 
us certain that we would be the next victims My wife immedi- 
ately ran into the inner room of the house and took some poison, 
while we were watching through the window and awaiting the 
arnval of the looters My old mother did the same A military 
tank entered from one gate and passing in front of my house left 
by the other gate It had come either to warn us or to scare us 
away 

“ We waited for the night to come At 8 on the night of the 
26th, we left the house, leaving the bodies of my wife and mother 
uncremated and covered with a sheet Servants carried my five 
children and we passed through the Mission Ahata and across the 
railway hue safely After we had run about a hundred yards we 
met sixty men, armed with spears and swords To our great good 
fortune they took pity on me and my children and allowed us to 
pass We decided to go towards Gujranwala and cross the Ravi 
river and reach India We continued walking the whole night and 
the next day at about 3-30, we reached Tallianwala Unfortun- 
ately we were not allowed to enter the village as the villagers were 
afraid that we might cause a disturbance We selected a spot 
where there was a small forest To my surprise I came to know 
in the evening that there were about fifteen thousand Hindus and 
Sikhs assembled in the neighbourhood Some of them weie from 
Sheikhupura while the majority of them were from different vil- 
lages which had been attacked by the military ” This witness 
and his children finally reached the refugee camp at Chuharkana 

All the three camps set up m Sheikhupura on the morning of 
August 26, were attacked m this manner Some non-Muslims 
collected in the Namdhan Dharamshala Among them was a 



136 Stem Reckoning 

teacher of the Government High School, Sheikh upura whose story 
is as follows 

At about 3-30 pjn. from our roofs wo saw that the rioters 
had come into the courtyard round which our houses were situated. 
The mihtary was patrolling around this area and once they even 
came into the courtyard. They pointed guns at us but did not 
fire nor did they interfere with the rioters. Soon after this, the 
rioters who were Muslims set fire to some of the houses. The 
military were purely Baluch. The rioters looted the houses and 
drove away the cattle which were tied m the courtyard. The looted 
houses wore then set fire to Some women were also taken away 
by the rioters. When the residents of the houses went up to 
the roofs the military shot them. I saw this with my own eyes. 
The houses on three sides of the courtyard were in this mann er 
looted and burnt by about 4 a_m, the following night. A large 
crowd of non Muslims had collected m my house where they had 
sought refuge A large number of rioters came to our house but 
we raised cries of Sat Sin Akal and they went away Almost 
immediately afterwards they returned and began to fire at us. Our 
impression was that it was the Baluch mihtary who were firing 
Two of our men were killed and two were injured. Wherever we 
could see there were fires raging all round us. We thought wo 
would go out in the open and leave the rioters to loot our bouses 
but the general opinion was against this step and so wc stayed on 
inside the houses till the morning. The fire on one side died down 
and then we came out. We met the mihtary who told us that it 
was safo for us to go away 

We left and soon afterwards wo heard reports of firing. I 
took shelter in the Namdhan Dharamsala where there were about 
a thousand non Muslims collected. At 9 a.m. about sixty rioters, 
accompanied by about twenty soldiers, arrived and began to fire 
at us. The noters were carrying iron tube-like contraptions about 
18 inches long and 3 inches in diameter I was told that this 
implement was used for throwing bombs or grenades. The 
noters were carrying swords but not guns. There were so many 
of us in the small room of the Gurdwara that we could scarcely 
breathe. Many men cut oil the heads of their wives and daughters 
and threw them down the well. We could not get water from 
this well as the bucket would not go down. The well became full 
of blood. After a little while w-c were told to come out and were 



The Punjab 


137 


made to sit m the courtyard of the Dharamsala It was the military 
who gave this order They asked us to give whatever valuables 
we had and every one of us handed out whatever he had, and 
then we were sent one by one to the cremation ground which was 
near the Dharamsala There we saw hundreds of dead bodies 
lymg We were made to sit in rows and in small groups at differ- 
ent points of the cremation ground Then the rioters came there 
with swords and other weapons ready to kill us We asked these 
people to convert us to Islam but they refused There were no 
soldiers there They had gone away after taking part of our valu- 
ables m the Gurdwara courtyard Many Sikhs bared their heads 
and asked the rioters to cut off their hair and convert them to 
Islam but they said that they were thirsty for the blood of the 
non-Muslims At this time an aeroplane passed over our heads 
and we made signals of distress by waving turbans, clothes or 
women’s veils The rioters did not make a wholesale attack on 
us They took a few of us at a time behind a house near the 
cremation ground to kill This was about 2 pm I cannot say 
how many of us were killed We heard cries and shrieks from 
behind the house After a time the rioters went away and we 
returned to the Dharamsala There also we found hundreds of 
dead bodies lying I cannot say if these were the bodies of people 
who were originally in the Dharamsala or if they had been brought 
there afterwards to kill There were no rioters or military in sight 

“ We had heard rumours that the rioters wanted to loot and 
set fire to Chuharkana Thinking that this was a good opportunity 
to escape, about forty of us left to run away to a neighbouring 
village A second party of about a hundred persons left a little 
later when it was getting dark I was in this party We did not 
go by the main roads but through the rice fields We reached a 
Sikh village, Ranjit Kot, three and a half miles away, at about 
10 p'm that night We met a party of about forty Muslims just 
outside the village They were armed with daggers and swords 
and they told us that all the Sikhs and Hindus had already left 
They saw that many of us were wounded These Muslims did not 
attack us They told us that they could not give us any food as 
it was too late and advised us to go away if we valued our lives 
As I have already said, we were about a hundred in number 
but we had no arms of any kind There were women and children 
also among us We approached another village but from there 
we heard sounds of firing We spent the night m a wet ploughed 
10 



138 


Stem Reckoning 


field. In the morning wc went to a village near Mirza. Around 
this village I noticed that a ditch bad been dug* apparently for 
purposes of protection. This ditch was fall of water I noticed 
similar ditches around several other villages which I visited during 
the course of the next few days. I was going round the villages 
in order to make enquiries about my wife and daughter I did not 
come across any police or military during this time There was a 
general movement* on a large scale of non Muslim* Peoplo were 
moving m and out of villages. I did not come across any noting 
during these few days. I saw a crowd of about forty Muslim* 
outside the village near Mirza, but the number of non Muslims in 
this village was large. The Sikhs were saying that the Muslim* 
were telling them to go away if they did not want to be killed. 
There was a party of about sixty persons, Hindus and Sikhs, led 
by a dacoit. Bahadur Singh, who offered to protect us. Some of 
these persons had firearms. There were about a thousand of us 
and Bahadur Singh told us to ot together and said that ho would 
protect us as long as he lived. 

“ Wc used to visit different villages and the Sikh residents gave 
us food and served us. Then we heard that refugee camps were 
being opened near Sheikhupura and Sacha Sauda. I went to the 
camp at Sacha Sauda. On the way I met crowds of people walk 
ing like ants. They had left their houses and were making for the 
refugee camps. At Sacha Sauda there were about one and a quarter 
lakh refugees. The only food which was available for them wa* 
wheat and gram which was being distributed by the officer in 
charge. People were bringing sugarcanes from the neighbouring 
fields. I thought that I would die of cholera m these condition* 
and decided to go to Sheikhupura. Seemg two Baluch lorries com- 
ing along the road I asked the Baluch soldiers to take me to 
Sheikhupura- They took me there and I went to the Sikh 
Girls School which had been converted into a refugee camp 
There in the hospital some patients told me that my wife 
and daughter had been taken away safely At Sacha Sauda 
no lorries came and I was told that some day* ago ten 
Iomes had come to take refugees away and after that no transport 
had arrived although telephonic messages had been sent Three or 
four days later I found accommodation in a truck and went to the 
D.A.V College Camp at Lahore. Two or three days later some 
trucks for Government servants came and I travelled by one of 
these to Amritsar where I found my wife and daughter 



The Punjab 


139 


“The story given by my wife and daughter was this 
“ ‘ When we left our house and went on to the mam road the 
military collected about 150 of us and took us on one side They 
made us sit down and gave us water to drink and some fruits and 
biscuits which had been looted from a shop They told us to eat 
these as our end was near Then they made us sit m a row and 
began to kill us one by one (I cannot say if these were the rioters 
or the military but the military was present ) The military earned 
away some girls m 'omes They wanted to take my daughter away 
also but she said that she should rather be shot A military soldier 
pomted his gun at her but it appears that these men were busy loot- 
ing and carrying away the booty and so my daughter escaped 
The killing started from one end of the row and, getting an oppor- 
tunity, about twenty-five of us from the other side ran and escaped 
mto a narrow lane near the temple ’ 

“My wife and daughter were separated My wife took shelter 
in one house and my daughter m another My daughter tned to 
put an end to her life by persuading a lawyer’s son to strangle her 
Three attempts were made to do this but my daughter survived 
though she remained unconscious for some time There were one 
or two other girls in this house also and they prepared a pyre with 
some quilts and charpoys They spent about two days in this house 
and during this time my wife joined my daughter Then the mili- 
tary came and rescued them and took them to Amritsar My 
daughter was an Assistant Mistress m the Government High School 
at Sargodha and was staying with me during the holidays at 
that time ” 

A Hindu lawyer who found shelter in the house of a friendly 
Muslim relates that he heard Mr Disney, Malik Mohammad Anwar 
and Mr Ghulam Hussain Chhatta * holding the following con- 
versation 

“ Mr Disney ‘ In the last twenty-four hours practically the 
whole town is decimated What more do you want 7 ’ 

“ Malik Mohammad Anwar ‘ We have to continue this work 
till we receive further instructions from higher authorities at 
Lahore ’ 

“ Mr Disney ‘ I am a little upset about this carnage ’ 

“ Malik Mohammad Anwai ‘But orders are to be obeyed 
and we have to carry on till we get further instructions We 
apprehend danger from Sikhs of neighbouring villages ’ 


Afterwards a Parliarncmarj Secretary in the West Punjab Gmcrmncnt 


140 


Stern Reckoning 


“ Mr Disney But no Sikh can come in the presence of 
Muslim military and the police. 

Mr Chhatta But orders are orders Wo will phone up 
Lahore just now for further instruction*. ” 

It would be superfluous to make any comment on this amazing 
conversation 

The total death roll at Sbeikbupura baa been variously csti 
mated between eight thousand and twenty five thousand. A con 
servative estimate based on the evidence of tbc most reliable wit 
nesses would put the figure at about ten thousand. 

The Sacha Sauda refugee camp was situated near the railway 
line and vyas a good target for anyone firing from a railway train 
passing by Baluch soldiers, travelling in trains fired at refugees 
in the camp on three different occasions and each tunc heavy loss 
of life was occasioned. These attack* were admitted by the West 
Punjab Government and the explanation given by them was that 
the refugees had taken up a threatening attitude towards the armed 
Muslim military in the trains who had fired shots in self-defence. 
It u difficult to imagine a more unconvincing and evasive expia 
nation of these savage attacks on innocent and unarmed refugees 
who had been driven out from then- homes and were subsisting on 
extremely meagre rations before means for evacuating them could 
be made available. 

At Sangla Hill the local Sub-Inspector of Police demanded a 
heavy bribe for protecting the non Muslims. Tbc money was paid 
but the non Muslims were attacked on August 28 and large nmn 
ber» of them were murdered. Looting and burning of Hindu shops 
and houses followed. On September 7 the non Muslims were told 
that they must leave within an hour They were then driven out 
from their houses at the point of the bayonet Anyone who tried 
to lake his valuables away was robbed. The non Muslims were Kept 
m a camp m one of the factories for several days. Some of them 
were forcibly converted. One of the factory owners was compelled 
to write a letter admitting that be had leased his factory to a Mus- 
lim for five year*. About three hundred men m the refugee camp 
died from an epidemic of cholera which broke out owing to the 
insanitary conditions prevailing there. 

Some shop* in Chuharkana were burnt on August 20 but 
a major tragedy was averted by the arrival of some non 
Muslim military officers. In Chak No 10 four hundred men were 



rhe Punjab 


141 


killed m the course of an assault by a Muslim mob accompanied 
by Pakistan military Over a hundred young girls were kidnapped 
Bhalair and Jandiala Sher Khan were attacked in a similar man- 
ner Several foot convoys of non-Muslims were attacked in different 
parts of the district A railway train was attacked near Moman 
and fifty non-Muslims were killed Their dead bodies were thrown 
m the canal Some of them were recovered the next day by the 
residents of Sangla All twenty passengers in a truck, escorted 
by Baluch soldiers, were done to death on their way to Lahore 
Their dead bodies were found lying in the canal by a foot caravan 
A large party of non-Muslims from Sheikhwan was attacked on 
September 3 and, in the course of the attack, forty persons lost their 
lives, a hundred more were injured and fourteen girls were 
kidnapped 

Sialkot District 

Sialkot has many historical, religious and romantic associa- 
tions with the past According to popular legends the city was 
founded by Raja Sala, the uncle of the Pandavas and re-founded, 
in the time of Vikramaditya, by Raja Salivahan who built the fort 
and the city on their present sites Puran Bhagat, the samt and 
hero of popu'ar romances, who refused the incestuous advances of 
his step-mother and was made to undergo horrible tortures, was the 
son of this Salivahan The well m which he was thrown by the 
order of the wicked Rani lies a few miles from Sialkot and, until 
its desecration and partial demolition by the Muslims in August 
1947, used to be a place of pilgrimage There is a Sikh shrine dedi- 
cated to Guru Nanak and near it Darbar Baoli Sahib, a covered 
well, built by a Rajput disciple of Baba Nanak Both places are 
held in great veneration by the Sikh community 

During the Moghul times, Sialkot became the headquarters of 
a fiscal district and has remained so to the present day The 
Emperor Jahangir passed through the district on his way to Kash- 
mir and recorded m his diary that he found the surroundings 
delightful * In more recent years the district acquired a certain 
amount of notoriety durmg the Ahrar agitation of 1932-33 when 
bands of Ahrars, bound for Kashmir, mvaded the district The city 
of Sialkot is associated with the firm of Uberoi, the well-known 
manufacturers of sports goods , and numerous other firms, big and 


* The name of the town Pasrur is said to be a corruption of the word * pursaroor ” 
used by Jchangir meaning full of de’ight 



144 


Stem Reckoning 


at Naizam A bad by the Muslim driver who saw a mob waiting 
near the railway Ene. The tram was attacked and the non Muslim 
passengers were brutally slaughtered. The dead bodies were re- 
moved from the compartments under the supervision of a Magis- 
trate and the tram was loaded with non Muslims of Sialkot wishing 
to leave for Jammu- The tram was derailed three miles from 
Sialkot near Dalowali and a mob of four or five thousand M uslims 
was seen approaching. The military escort fired at the mob and 
kept them at bay for a time Fortunately a body of Sikh soldiers 
living in the military barracks near by ran up and averted what 
might have proved a most gruesome massacre. 

Two or three days later another tram carrying non Muslim 
passengers was derailed at the same place. The Muslim mob was 
agam driven away as on the previous occasion and the tram was 
taken back to Sialkot. Owing to the curfew orders, the passengers 
could not leave the station and go home. They had to stay on 
the platform, surrounded by an angry Muslim mob for several 
hours while a leading Advocate was making efforts to obtain the 
permission of the District Magistrate to their gomg home They 
were finally taken to a private camp at Puran Nagar 

From August 16 to August 20 a marked improvement in the 
situation was observed. A Minister of the West Punjab Govern 
ment then paid a visit to Sialkot and held a secret conference with 
the Muslim League leaders behind closed doors, while the District 
Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police waited outside. After 
the Minister left Siafkot disturbance* re-commenced with even 
greater fury The general impression was that the District 
Magistrate was sincerely anxious to put an end to this carnage 
but the police openly flouted bis authority and ho felt completely 
helpless. He called the Secretary and the President of the local 
Muslim League to a meeting at the City Police Station and told 
them that their leadership had failed because they had been unable 
to influence their followers and stop the noting m the aty The 
office bearer* resented this remark and left the meeting in anger 
Three days later the District Magistrate was transferred to Lahore. 

A refugee tram was scheduled to leave Sialkot for Jammu at 
9 a.m on August 20 The train wa* packed with non Muslim 
passenger* and provided with a non Muslim escort The engine 
driver refused to start unless the personnel of the escort were 
changed and untii Muslim police and military were sent with the 
train. A report wa* made to the District Magistrate who ordered 



I'lie Punjab 


145 


the engine driver to be arrested The man was adamant and he 
was supported by the Muslim National Guards who openly declared 
that they would murder him if he left with the non-Muslim escort 
This train did not leave and the passengers had to go back to the 
refugee camp 

The proprietor of the firm of Uberoi saw many of his non- 
Muslim employees murdered , others ran away He himself 
escaped and reached Jammu When he returned a few days later, 
he found that the local authorities, with the assistance of the 
Police and National Guards, had taken possession of his factory 
Large quantities of his stocks lying in the factory and his personal 
goods including carpets, furniture and jewellery from his house 
were removed in trucks A dummy directorate was set up and an 
attempt was made to operate upon the firm’s bank account 

A Hindu Advocate left his house in a tonga with a few belong- 
ings and proceeded on the road to Jammu He was stopped by 
the National Guards and deprived of all his goods. He returned 
to Sialkot after peace was restored but was unable to remove either 
his library or any other part of his personal effects Thousands of 
non-Muslims perished m the course of this rioting and lost all their 
property Many girls were kidnapped and dishonoured 

Rioting in the rural areas started almost simultaneously 
Every village in the district was attacked by mobs of Muslim 
hooligans In many instances the mobs were led by members 
of the Muslim League National Guards or police officials The 
pattern of the assault was the same everywhere with a few vari- 
ations prompted by individual genius or the peculiarity of local 
conditions In some cases the local Muslims promised safety and 
protection to the non-Muslim residents and swore upon the Quran 
that no harm would come to them , but, when the village was 
attacked by men from the neighbouring villages, these promises 
were forgotten and the local Muslims joined the marauders in 
looting and murdermg their co-villagers In other villages heavy 
bribes were demanded and paid, but this only increased the greed 
of the bribe-takers, and the non-Muslim residents were soon after- 
wards robbed of everything they had Conversion to Islam was 
frequently offered as the price of safety, and if the victims exhibited 
any reluctance or religious scruples they were subjected to duress 
and torture The hair of Sikhs was cut off, their beards were 
trimmed and beef was cooked and forced down their throats Some 
of them were circumcised Young women and girls were molested 


146 


Stem Reckoning 


and carried away Reason and decency were completely banished 
by fanatical zeal and young innocent girls were raped in public. 
In one village the relations of a girl were made to s|and around in 
a ring while she was raped by several men in succession. Parties of 
non Muslims running away from such homble scenes were set upon 
and murdered. Even when armed escorts accompanied these parties 
there was no respite from these ordeals, in fact, the guards were 
not unwilling to share in the loot When the refugees reached the 
banks of the Ravi and safety appeared to be within sight the pro- 
blem of crossing the nver presented serious difficulties. Heavy 
rains had made the river unfordablc boats were rarely available 
and the Muslim boatmen demanded exorbitant fares. Delays 
occurred and while the refugees waited, they were attached by 
Muslim hooligans. In some cases a whole week had to be spent, 
out m the open without food or shelter Young children and old 
men could not survive exposure and starvation during the monsoon 
months and large numbers of them died. Trains were stopped 
and attacked on the way Their passage was delayed and food 
and drink were deliberately withheld from the unfortunate 
passengers. Appeals for a drop of water were met with the argu 
ment that the water of Pakistan would disagree with the stomachs 
of those who were running away to India 

During the months of August and September two hundred and 
thirty-eight villages were attacked and looted. There were thirty 
three distinct attacks on refugees proceeding to India by road and 
six on those travelling by tram A few village incidents chosen at 
random arc given below A few others will be found in a table m 
Appendix II. 

A mob of armed Muslims raided Rajiana Rattan on August 
22 1947 at 9 am. An As istant Sub- Inspector of Police and 
twe vo police constables accompanied the mob The non Muslims 
of the village were asked to embrace Islam if they wanted to live 
peacefully They had to make their decision wi th in two hours 
and inform the Assistant Sub-Inspector They met in a haveli to 
discuss the matter and decided against conversion. Torrential rain 
coming at this juncture drove the Muslims to seek shelter m house*. 
The non Muslims ran out and hid themselves m the field* near the 
village. As soon as the rain stopped, the Muslims came out and 
plundered the empty houses. They then went out to the fields in 
order to round up the non Muslims. Ten of them were killed but 
the rest were able to escape to Jammu State 



The Punjab 


147 


On August 23, the non-Muslims of village Gol decided to 
leave their homes on hearing persistent rumours of attacks on 
the neighbouring villages A large party of them left at noon but 
they had gone only a short distance when they were confronted by 
a mob of armed Muslims accompanied by some policemen and 
military soldiers They ran back to the village and took shelter 
m the house of Chaudhry Raghbir Smgh Zaddar The Zaddar 
took his gun and climbed up to the roof The house was surround- 
ed by the Muslims and the Zaddar was shot dead Some of the 
hooligans went up to the roof, made a hole m the ceding and 
dropped a number of bombs inside Many people were killed 
and injured Some, opening the door, ran out These, too, were 
attacked Others hid themselves in the fields ti'l it was dark, and 
then they walked to the river Ravi and succeeded m being taken 
across 

On August 17, five thousand non-Muslims drawn from thirty- 
two villages went to the Daska Camp and after staying there for 
a fortnight started for Dera Baba Nanak, escorted by the Pakistan 
military The convoy arrived at Alipur Saidan Railway Station, 
and stopped there for the night A mob of two hundred Muslims, 
armed with fire arms, spears and swords, had come to Alipur 
Saidan the previous day and they were entertamed by the local 
Mushms They planned to attack the non-Muslims campmg at 
the station When the convoy left m the morning the Muslim 
mob attacked it The military escort joined the mob and the 
attack continued for two hours and a half Eight hundred non- 
Muslims were killed and seventy were mjured A number of girls 
were kidnapped Property valued at several thousand rupees was 
looted The providential arrival of a tram from Sialkot enabled 
two thousand of the survivors to leave Alipur Saidan The rest 
had to be left behind for lack of accommodation m the tram These 
were saved by some Hindu soldiers who arrived on the following 
day and escorted them to Dera Baba Nanak 

Baidana remained peaceful until September 18, although 
there was considerable panic and tension as several villages m the 
neighbourhood were being attacked by Muslim mobs On Septem- 
ber 18, Jajjar, a village one mile from Badiana, was attacked The 
Zaildar of the Ilaqa took a Muslim chaukidar with him and tried 
to persuade the Muslim mob to spare Badiana The Zaddar was 
attacked and beaten The next day the non-Muslims from the 
adjoining villages collected and marched out to meet the Muslims 



148 


Stem Reckoning 


In the clash that ensued both sides suffered casualties. On 
September 24 a huge mob of Muslims attached village Fat eh pur 
which is close to Badiana. This mob was led by a Sub-Inspector 
of Police and four constables armed with rifles. The Sikh residents 
of Fatehpur resisted and the mob went back. The non Muslim.? 
of Badiana then left their village and made their way to Pamir 
At the Pasrar Camp the refugees were attacked and fifteen 
of them were killed by Muslim troops. The refugees left 
Pasnir for Dera Baba Nanah and on the way there were again 
attacked near NarowaL Fortunately a band of Hindu soldiers 
arrived and dispersed the attackers. At Jassar the non Muslims 
were agam attacked. Finally they reached Ramdas on Indian 
territory their numbers considerably attenuated by successive 
attacks. 

Dhavad a village six miles from Narowal was attacked by 
a Muslim mob on September 2 at 9 ami. The Muslims were armed 
with firearms, swords, daggers and spears and were accompanied 
by a Sub-Inspector of Police. The non Muslims of the village 
were rounded up and told that they would be lolled. They were 
forced to hand over their cash and ornaments. They were then 
brought to the bank of the river Ravi, a distance of two miles, 
and left there. Shortly afterwards tho same mob again attacked 
them and looted all their property About eighteen girls were 
kidnapped and the women were stripped and searched. The sur 
vivors arranged with two Muslim boatmen to take them across 
the nver When they were in midstream tho boatmen threatened 
to overturn the boats unless they were paid five hundred rupees 
and a gold ring. The money was paid and the boats were taken 
across. 

On September 4 some Muslim National Guards entered the 
house of one Nand Lai in Rupo Chak and shot him dead. The 
house was then ransacked and plundered. The matter was 
reported to the Muslim Zaildar and be promised to exert his 
influence in preventing the recurrence of such incidents if he were 
paid a sum of three thousand rupees. The money was paid bet 
on September 15 Chhanga Mai a moneylender and the members 
of his family were murdered at night by the Muslims. Thor dead 
bodies were thrown on a heap of garbage. The Zaildar again 
demanded a large sum of money for guaranteeing the security of 
the non Muslims and the money was paid. On November 5 
some police constables arrived and asked the non Muslims to get 



The Punjab 


149 


ready to go to Zafarwal They were told to take only two beddings 
per family and nothing else The non-Muslims loaded their be- 
longings on three bullock-carts and left for Zafarwal The police 
constables were paid three thousand rupees for escorting them 
safely At Zafarwa’ the non-Muslims were housed m a temple, 
but the bullock-carts with their belongings were taken to the police 
station and then removed to the headquarters of the Muslim 
National Guards The policemen told the refugees that the bullock- 
carts contained Pakistan property which could not be taken to 
India At midnight a number of Muslims armed with Bren guns 
and rifles invaded the temple They seized any cash and jewellery 
the refugees had hidden on their persons In the morning the 
refugees were removed to the Arya Samaj Camp where they were 
kept until November 13 They were then removed to Sialkot and, 
on November 16, boarded a goods tram bound for India 

Gujranwala District 

The March disturbances had no serious repercussions in the 
Gujranwala District though, in the month of April, the burning of 
a sweet-seller’s shop at Wazirabad caused a great deal of pamc 
in that town Many residents of Wazirabad left but they came back 
on receiving assurances of peace and security from the local 
Muslims In the second week of August, stabbings of non-Muslims 
began in the town of Gujranwala On August 14, a number of 
houses, shops and factories owned by non-Muslims were set on 
fire Then followed a brief lull but the town was, once again, shaken 
by serious disturbances which spread through al! quarters 
Mushm hooligans were seen wandering about the streets and loot- 
ing non-Muslim shops Trouble increased day by day and, on 
August 27, a Muslim mob assisted by two constables looted the 
shops m Bazaar Han Singh Nalwa Dr Tej Bhan, a leadmg 
Medical Practitioner, was foully murdered by a Sub-Inspector of 
Police who first searched his house and then shot him and all 
members of his family who were at home Wazirabad fared much 
worse Almost the whole of this town was set on fire and the 
flames were seen for many miles The town was attacked on 
August 13, by a large Muslim mob which came from the direction 
of Nizamabad Non-Muslim shops and houses were freely looted 
and then burnt Wazirabad was the scene of a most ruthless and 
barbarous attack on a tram of refugees proceeding to Jammu The 
tram was stopped about a mile outside Wazirabad where the track 
was found to be blocked A large mob of armed Muslims then 



150 


Stem Reckoning 


attacked the tram and a veritable orgy of loot and murder began* 
Several hundred non Muslims were lulled in the course of this 
attack and many women were kidnapped. Almost the entire 
belongings of the passengers were earned away It may be men- 
tioned here that Nizamabad, situated a mile from Wazirabad. 
was a centre of the cutlery cottage industry and large quantities 
of knives and daggers were sent from this place to various p^rts 
of India. Several cases of tins deadly merchandise addressed to 
Muslim League agitators were captured by the police. 

Emmabad and kamoke are important trade and factory 
centres where non Muslims oWned considerable property At 
Em in bad, on August 11a Hindu, proceeding m a tonga, was foully 
murdered. His assailants were arrested and sent up to stand thar 
trial. Two days after the partition of the province they were dis 
charged and allowed to return to their village. On their arrival 
they openly proclaimed that they would not allow any non Muslim 
to live m Emmabad. On August 19 a large mob of Muslims with 
whom were some members of the National Guard began to loot 
and burn the non Muslim shops. . The gram market was almost 
completely destroyed. The disturoancc gathered volume and on 
August 20 there was more looting and burning. The Gurdwara 
Rohn Sahib was desecrated and set on fire Some Sikhs m the 
Gurdwara were murdered. Almost all the factories m Kamoke 
were set on fire on August 22 and 23 Most of the non Muslims 
left the village and m their absence their houses and shops were 
plundered. Many of those who were left behind were murdered 
and then burnt by pouring kerosene oil over the corpses. The 
worst massacre m the distn t perhaps took place at Akalgarb an 
important trade centre on the railway Imc between Wazirabad and 
L yah pur The business and Zemindara interests were all m the 
hands of non Mush ms who comprised a moiety of the total popo 
latton The surrounding villages were chiefly inhabited by Muslims 
and when the disturbances began the non Muslims from these 
villages began to move mto Akalgarh m the hope of finding greater 
security The number of these refugees soon swelled into thousands 
and five different refugee camps were set up in Akalgarh Till 
September 2 Hindu military was stationed at Akalgarh and condi 
tions remained peaceful A BaJuch regiment then replaced the 
Hindu military and. within a few days, conditions changed. On 
September 7 it was announced that all Hindus and Sikhs must 
surremW their weapons immediately Extensive searches were 



I he Punjab 


151 


carried out through the town and the refugee camps, and even 
ordinary knives were taken away Two retired Sikh Subedars of 
the Army protested against this order They were attacked by 
the Baluch soldiers and murdered Their dead bodies were 
thrown into the canal The search for weapons provided the police 
and the army with an excuse for taking away all the cash and 
jewellery m possession of the refugees Boxes and trunks were 
nfled Women were stripped naked and molested The weapons 
collected were placed m a large heap m front of the police station 
and were then distnbuted to the Muslims who came in from the 
neighbouring villages That evening a large mob of Muslims, 
assisted by Baluch soldiers, attacked the refugee camp in the Gov- 
ernment High School The men were separated from the women 
and then about forty girls were selected and told to march out 
Some of the girls resisted and were shot The mob attacked the men 
and killed several of them The refugee camp m Sanatan Dharam 
Mandir was attacked next Some parents, knowing the designs 
of the Muslims, tried to conceal then young gnls by wrappmg them 
up inside their beddings The gnls were discovered, taken out and 
led up to a room on the top storey where they were raped by 
Baluch soldiers Some girls jumped mto a well to save themselves 
from such foul treatment The Muslim mob looted the refugees 
and killed several hundreds of them The dead bodies were 
carried m trucks to the canal bank and thrown in the water A 
young girl was found dying on the roadside four days later She 
had been raped by several Muslims and then left for dead The 
Sub-Inspector of Police, Akalgarh, issued directions that no Mus- 
lim should grind wheat for the refugees or sell any provisions to 
them The looted property from the refugee camps and houses 
was carried away m military trucks The Muslim residents of the 
neighbouring villages took away a share of the loot in bullock-carts 
The arrival of the Dogra military, on September 8, saved the town 
and the refugees from total annihilation The refugees were finally 
evacuated at the end of October It is estimated that over two 
thousand people were killed m Akalgarh on September 7 and 8, 
and about two hundred girls were abducted 

Towards the end of September, Kamoke witnessed a most 
gruesome attack on a refugee tram carrying non-Muslims from 
West Punjab The tram contained over three thousand refugees, 
most of whom had been placed in open cattle wagons At Kamoke 
the tram was made to stop for a whole night as it was said that 



152 


Stern Reckoning 


the track had been damaged During the night parties of Muslims 
were seen moving about near the train and by the morning, a arge 
mob had collected At 12 noon the tram was attacked and almost 
the entire body of passengers was lolled About six hundred 
young girls were earned away One of them who was after 
wards recovered was taken to village Pandonan by a Kashmiri 
who kept her in his bouse for five days. The girls story is that 
the Kashmin toed to kill her “ I had 16 tolas of gold sewn 
into my under garments. I requested him not to kill me and 
offered him the gold which he took and made over to his brother 
In the house the Kashmin raped me and then suggested that I 
should marry his nephew Dm Mohammad Owing to the shock and 
the atrocities my brain became unbalanced A month later 
Gurkha military came to the village. I was concealed in a 
Muslim refugee s house For some hours the Gurkha military 
searched for me m vam and went away Three months later the 
military again came to the village. Neither the Kashmin nor 
Dm Mohammad were m the house. I had been concealed m a 
com bin. The soldiers were going to leave when a Muslim woman 
told them of my whereabouts. The soldiers returned to the house 
m which I was concealed and hearing their foot steps I came out 
and foil down senseless.” The abducted girls who had the good 
fortune to be recovered and restored to their relations have related 
many homble stones of the atrocities to which they were subjected 
The town of Haflzabad was atta ked on August 24 and 
looting and arson on a very large scale took place 

In the rural areas disturbances on a large and extensive scale 
took place throughout the district Whole villages were ransacked 
and the non Muslim residents compelled to embrace Islam. 
Rumours of an imminent attack made the non Muslim residents 
of Talwandi leave their village. Those who were left behind 
were forcibly converted to Islam. In Wamko-Tarar the Sub- 
Inspector announced that all Sikhs had been declared disloyal by 
the Pakistan Government Ho said be had instructions to drive 
out all the Sikhs from the village. The village was raided soon 
after this and all the Sikhs were mercilessly butchered. Tbeir 
dead bodies were earned to the river Chenab in a truck, and 
thrown in the stream. The Sikh houses and shops were plundered. 
The Muslims undertook to spare the Hindus but the next day 
they were told that they must be converted to Islam. All the 
Hindus, numbering about two hundred were taken to the local 




The massacre of non-Muslims at Kamoke Railway Station 





icre of non Mutllmt at Ramoke RaCltoav Station 




The Punjab 


153 


mosque and converted Thatia Parothiun was attacked and burnt 
on August 26 Many of the residents lost their lives in the fire 
Looting continued throughout the night and hundreds of cattle, 
belonging to the non-Muslims, were driven away The Hindus 
of Kale Ki Mandi were told, on August 26, that they would 
be murdered unless they embraced Islam They agreed to this 
but refused to hand over their girls to the Muslims On this the 
Muslims attacked them, killing ten and injuring about fifty On 
August 27, two lorries carrying Muslim police and military 
arrived in the village They joined the Muslim mob in a brutal 
attack on the Hindus, entered Hindu houses and dishonoured 
Hindu women Some women committed suicide by taking poison 
In village Jokhian, a house in which a number of Hindus were 
locked up was set on fire The Hindus escaped through one of 
the doors but they were pursued and put to death At Joara, 
while a peace committee of Hindus and Muslims svas deliberating 
and devising means of preserving peace, a Muslim mob attacked 
the village A Sub-Inspector of Police, po'ice constables and 
Baluch soldiers accompanied the mob Some Sikhs were killed 
and many houses were looted A second attack was made on the 
village a fortnight later On this occasion, thirty-five non-Muslims 
were killed and the rest of the houses were looted The remaining 
non-Muslims were converted to Islam Baddoki Gosam was 
attacked and looted on August 24 Non-Muslim refugees of 
Madiala Panach and Mandi Sukhoke were attacked on the way 
by Muslim mobs A number of people lost their lives and many 
young women were abducted The attack on Chak Ghazi by a 
Muslim mob was averted by the efforts of Fateh Mohammad 
Lambardar and Mian Rehmat Khan These two men escorted 
the non-Muslims of their village safely to Akalgarh In Chak 
Bhatti there was a difference of opinion among the local Muslims 
Some of them wanted to exterminate the “ kafirs ” while others 
were of the opinion that they should be converted and then allowed 
to stay unmolested The timely arrival of a Hindu Army officer 
with a number of trucks saved the situation and the non-Muslim 
residents were evacuated from the village 

Gujrat District 

The district of Gujrat touches Kashmir State along its 
northern boundary The Grand Trunk Road passes through the 
headquarter town of Gujrat The district is a predominantly 
Muslim one and its population at the census of 1941 was recorded 
ll 


154 


Stem Reckoning 


as 85 58 per cent Muslim. Gujrat Lalamusa, Malakwal Mandi 
Baha ud Din, Dinga and Kunjah are among the important places 
in the district 

There were no disturbances m the district during the month 
of March, In June after the Mountbatten Plan had been 
announced the attitude of the Muslims towards the Hindus and 
Sikhs began to change and with the advance of tim e tho 
minorities became apprehensive of their safety Many began to 
leave the urban and the rural areas and before the 15th of August, 
a large number of Hindus and S ikhs had left tho town of Gujrat 
and some of the villages. On August 12 three Hindus were 
stabbed in Gujrat in broad daylight. This spread panic through 
the town A day or two later some non Muslims who were 
travelling by train were murdered and their dead bodies were 
thrown out It was said that Mushm butchers had been specially 
engaged for the purpose. More incidents of this type occurred 
and travelling became unsafe. The railway authorities cancelled 
a number of trains as adequate arrangements for the safety of the 
passengers could not be made. At about this tune Muslim 
refugees from East Punjab began to arrive and, on August 18 
after Id prayers, a rumour was spread through the town that a 
largo mob of Sikhs from the neighbouring villages of Tahli Sahib 
and Shadiwal was preparing to attack the Muslims. The rumour 
was wholly baseless but it provided the Muslims with an excuse 
to collect m large numbers and make an attack on the non Muslim 
localities. AD tho shops m the Railway Station Bazaar belonging 
to the non M uslims were looted and burnt. The disturbance 
spread to other parts of the town and Bazaar Sarafan was also 
plundered and burnt On August 19 a group of Muslims entered 
the Lakshmi Narain Temple threw out the images and pictures 
and set fire to the building. K harm a Gurdwara, situated near 
the railway station, was similarly desecrated. The Punjab National 
Bank the Grain Market and the Imperial Bank were burnt About 
one hundred and fifty non Muslims were lolled in these two days 
and a number of girls were kidnapped. A refugee camp for non- 
Muslims was set up while looting in the town continued. 
Travelling by tram became more and more unsafe and every tram 
arriving from the north west was found to contain dead bodies 
of Hindus and Sikhs. Trams were stopped on the way and 
attacked by mobs of Muslim hooligans. The neighbouring village 
of Tahli Sahib was a predominantly Sikh village and the residents 



The Punjab 


155 


offered a certain amount of resistance to the Muslim attack on 
August 18 Many of them lost their lives in the conflict that 
followed The attack was, however, repulsed and two men who 
were clean-shaven offered to go to Amritsar and get military 
assistance When they reached the Wazirabad Railway Station 
they found that all non-circumcised passengers were being put to 
death They, therefore, came back to then: village They made 
another attempt and reached Wazirabad by road They were able 
to see a Hindu Army officer who promised to arrange for then- 
evacuation A few days later, a foot convoy under military escort 
was arranged Some members of this convoy lost their lives m a 
stream which was then in spate When the convoy arrived at 
Wazirabad all men and women were searched by members of the 
National Guard and deprived of all their valuables After their 
departure the Gurdwara Tahli Sahib was looted and burnt.* 

At Lalamusa also a rumour about Sikhs preparing them- 
selves for an attack was spread through the town and, immediately 
afterwards, a Muslim mob, assisted by members of the National 
Guard, began setting fire to the shops and houses of non-Muslims 
Gurdwara Smgh Sabha was desecrated and burnt The Grantbi 
and the members of his family were murdered The Gurdwara 
m Santpur was also burnt and its Granthi killed This happened 
on August 18 On the following day a Madras military contingent 
arrived and prevented further mischief The Madrasis remained 
m Lalamusa until October 2, and, during their stay, no untoward 
incident occurred They were then replaced by a Baluch regiment 
There were many complamts of harassment by the Baluch military 
and some women from the refugee camp were molested by them. 
The houses vacated by non-Muslims were looted and occupied 
Evacuation from the camp began on October 11 Before 
evacuation non-Muslims were searched and deprived of their 
valuables 

The events m Malakwal followed a similar course Here, too, 
a rumour of a contemplated attack by the Sikhs of village Shuman 
was heard and the Sub-Inspector left Malakwal to enquire mto 
its truth In his absence, the local Muslims began to loot 
non-Muslim houses and shops Forty shops m Rail Bazaar were 
destroyed m this manner on August 19 On August 28, a mob 
of several thousand Muslims attacked Malakwal and burnt a major 


* This incident was deposed to by one hundred and thirty-nine witnesses 



156 


Stem Reckoning 


portion of the town. Several hundred non Muslims were killed. 
The survivors were escorted to Mandi Baha ud Dm where a large 
camp had been set up. 

Mandi Baha ud Dm was an important trade centre. It was 
a railway station the headquarters of a thana and the scat of a 
Subordinate Judge and an Honorary Magistrate. Three Boys 
High Schools and a Girls High School were located m the town. 
On August 15 Hindus took part m a public function arranged to 
celebrate the establishment of Pakistan and offered their 
cooperation to the new Government. On August 18 the local 
Muslims spread a rumour that a large mob of Sikhs was preparing 
to attack them. That evening a number of villages including 
Kunjah and Jalalpur Jattan were attacked by Muslim mobs. 
There was Hindu military m Mandi Baha ud Dm and nothing 
untoward occurred m the town until August 27 on which date 
Hindu military was replaced by Muslim military m charge of 
one Major Aslam. According to all the available evidence this 
officer did everything in his power to safeguard the lives of the 
non Muslims and the local Hindus offered to present him with 
a gold shield if they remained unmolested. In the early hour* of 
September 1 the noise of drums was heard and toon afterward* 
a mob of Muslims opened an attack on the Hindu and Sikh 
houses m Mohalla Rampura. With the mob were a number of 
Pa than labourers who had come from the Rasul Head Works. The 
military resisted this attack and one Pathan was shot dead. Major 
Aslam then sent a wireless message to Jhelum and a contingent 
of Hindu military with six tanks arrived In Mandi Baha ud Din 
and saved further loss of non Muslim Uvea. Conditions were, 
however far from satisfactory m the refugee camp where several 
thousand non Muslims were living. The food and drink supplied 
to the non Muslims m the camp were poisoned on several 
occasions and this caused considerable loss of life. Report* 
regarding the number of casualties vary but it would be safe to 
say that nearly a thousand persons lost their lives from food 
poisoning. 

On September 5 a huge Muslim mob attacked the town of 
Dinga. Over a thousand non Muslims are alleged to have been 
massacred and about three hundred girls were kidnapped.* A 
A witness saw dead bodies lying naked in the streets, some of 



The Punjab 


157 


them had been horribly mutilated The town was looted and a large 
portion of it was burnt down A lorry containing Gurkha soldiers 
arrived on the night of September 7 and the survivors were 
evacuated to a camp On September 9, some Muslim Army men 
went to the camp and carried away a considerable quantity of 
cash and ornaments On September 19, the refugees were taken 
to the camp at Mandi Baha-ud-Dm According to the available 
evidence members of the National Guards and the police took part 
in the massacre and looting 

Village Kunjah was similarly attacked on August IB The 
shops of the non-Muslims were broken open and looted and then 
the entire bazaar was burnt down The town was completely 
sacked About three hundred and fifty non-Muslims were 
murdered and about one hundred and fifty Sikhs were forcibly 
converted to Islam About twenty girls were kidnapped Village 
Bhairowal was attacked on August 31 The 'shops and houses 
were looted and about one hundred and eighty persons were 
murdered The survivors agreed to accept Islam but when they 
were bemg escorted to Haveli Manu Basal, a neighbourmg abadi, 
they were set upon by a Muslim mob and thrown mto the river 
Chenab Nearly a hundred girls were carried away The same 
Muslim mob then went to the neighbouring village of Makhdoom 
and killed a number of non-Muslims They earned away 
thirty-five women Kananwala, Daulat Nagar, Gakhar Kalan, 
Gobindpura, Kalu and Jalalpur Jattan were also subjected to very 
severe attacks and the loss of life m these villages was considerable 
The residents of Barsala, Ram Garhwal, Gotnala, Sudewal, Dhal, 
Lahn, Ara, Samithal, Dhamthal and Alamgarh, near the border 
of Jammu State, were frequently attacked while proceeding to seek 
refuge m the State territory Their villages were looted and burnt * 
The happenings m Chak No 26, a Sikh village, are best desenbed 
m the words of its Lambardar Sant Singh, an extract from whose 
statement is given below 

“ Chak No 26 was a Sikh Chak colomsed by Sikh Rajputs 
of the Rathor clan, popularly known as Labana Sikhs It was 
populated by two thousand Sikhs and a few Muslim kamms or 
tenants The adjoining villages of Chak No 23, Chak No 25, Chak 
No 35, Jara, Sat Basal, Chak No 11, Mona, Chak Makoh, etc, 
were all predommantly Muslim Prior to the formation of 

* In the table In Appendix II which is by no means exhaustive are mentioned a 
number of other villages in which the attacks were most severe 



158 


Stem Reckoning 


Pakistan the relations between the Sikhs and the Muslims were 
cordial and friendly Between June 3 and August 15 the Muslim 
attitude towards the Sikhs steadily changed- They felt that the 
Sikhs were aggrieved and would not put up with Pakistan- The 
agitation by the Sikhs that they would not be content with 
partition unless the boundary were demarcated along the river 
Chenab greatly annoyed the Muslims and they began loo king upon 
the Sikhs as the stumbling block in their way We the Sikhi. 
were undoubtedly aggrieved as the result of the partition but we 
trusted the professions of friendship by the Muslims and their 
pretentions to protect the minorities. 

“ In order to ward off an attack m the event of any dis- 
turbance the villagers had taken the following precautions. The) 
had built a surrounding wall 7 feet high round the village abadi 
which extended over two squares of land and a ditch, 4 feet deep 
beyond the walk There were four openings m the wall with 
pucca doors. A Shahidi Jatha had been organized with Jctbedars 
and duties were assigned to them. We had sent out spies into 
the Muslim vil'agea to find out their plans. 

44 On August 15 a meeting was convened by Jahan Khan an 
M.L.A. and a prominent Muslim League worker of Basal village. 
The Sub- Inspector of Miana Gondal was also in the meeting. On 
August 16 one Mohammad Shaft, a compounder of the Civil 
Hospital who held me m great respect, informed me that it was not 
possible for the Sikhs to remain m the district any longer We sent 
Sant Singh Dcwan Singh Gurmukh Smgh Budh Singh Lambar 
dars and Giani Takhat Smgh Thakar Smgh and Bhag S m g h to 
Mona the Army Remount Depot, to inform the Officer Command 
mg about the schemes of the Muslims and ask for assistance in the 
event of an attack The officer promised his help 

“ On August 17 friendly messages came from the neighbour 
mg villages that our chak was m danger On that day Prem Smgh 
Nihang who had lands m Chak No 21 was returning home with 
his two sons aged 12 and 13 when he was attacked by a number 
of Muslims. The two boys ran into the rakh close by but Prem 
Smgh was set upon and shot dead When the boys came to our 
village and told us of the attack I went with the Sub-Inspector of 
Pohce who had come to our village by chance to Chak No 21 
and found Prem Smgh s dead body lying on the road. The 
Sub- Inspector then went away On die night between August 17 
and 18 we heard the beating of drums, which was the signal for 



/Vie Punjab 159 

tiie attack Large crowds of Muslims were seen collecting in the 
neighbouring villages 

“ We organized our defence m the following way Two hundred 
men of the Akal Regiment were posted in batches of fifty each 
on the four gates m the wa'l All the women were armed with 
An pans They wore male dress. 1 e . turbans on their heads and 
Milwan round their waists P halts (metal dishes) were tied on 
the chest by way of shields One hundred women were detailed 
to supply water to the defenders The men were divided in two 
parts Half were placed in front of the women and half behind 
them The building of the village Gurdwara is a tall one, and a 
Sikh was posted on top with a telescope The Muslim mob was 
seen to possess ladders, cume's and spades besides all kinds of 
firearms and leethal weapons 

'* According to our plan we had to remain on the defensive, 
but when we saw that the Muslim mob was very large and strong 
we changed our tactics We also began to beat the clhol mam 
(battle drum) and came out of our fortress This made the 
Muslims think, and Jahan Khan sent us a message through 
Mohammad Din Lohar that we should send four of our men to 
talk to four of their men and come to terms The two parties 
met half-way and Jahan Khan said, ‘ It is Muslim Raj now 
Pakistan has been established We are the rulers and the Hindus 
not The Sikhs will have to fly the Pakistan flag and 
obey the orders and injunctions of the Muslim Government 
and pay them land revenue and other dues ’ We replied 
that we would obey all just and honourable orders but 
nothing beyond that In teply to our question Jahan Khan said 
that he had heard of Sikh attacks on several villages but that the 
news was found to be false He then agreed to go back and the 
mob retreated 

‘ Mr Lich, who was the Commanding Officer posted at the 
Mona Remount Depot, now arrived on the scene with a contin- 
gent of sepoys, but returned on seeing that the Muslim mob was 
retreating 

“ We again sent four men (including myself) on horseback to 
Mona Depot to ask for an escort to evacuate us from the village 
We were met by a number of Muslims on the way and told to 
return home We said that we were going to see the Police officers 
m Chak No 28 A little further we met another group of seven 
Muslims who tried to attack us We opened fire on them and 



160 


Stem Reckoning 


they ran away We finally reached Mona and saw the officer m 
charge He gave us four trucks and these doing two taps daily 
began to transport the men of our village. We were not allowed 
to tale any luggage as there was no room in the trucks We could 
only take a few clothes rations and ornaments. 

On August 24 the Sub-Inspector of Police ordered that 
further evacuation should stop as the Sikhs and the Sikh military 
sepoys had burnt alive some Muslims and set their bouses on fire. 
At this stage three hundred men were left m Chak No 26. They 
were expected to bring some of the valuable property with them. 
The Sub-Inspector came to the village with a posse of armed 
police and stopped the evacuation The sound of drums was 
agam beard from Muslim villages and the Sikhs formed a morcha 
for their defence. A mob of fifteen hundred Muslims armed with 
303 rifles attacked the village in the evening at about 8 pm. The 
firing started and went on for a long time. The Sikhs had to take 
shelter in the Gurdwara. The mob entered the village Bullets 
pierced through the walls of the Gurdwara. The Sikhs became 
desperate and came out to fight. One hundred of them were 
killed and fifty were injured The re mauling one hundred and 
fifty escaped and reached Mona. Our houses and the Gurdwara 
were looted and burnt” 

This statement was corroborated by eleven other witnesses 
Montgomery District 

The Sikhs had an important stake m the district of Mont 
gomery as their enterprise was mamly responsible for developing 
the colony area and adding to the agricultural prosperity of the 
district The Hindus had an important share in the industrial 
economy of the district* and these considerations among many 
others were urged before the Boundary Commission in support 
of the non Muslim claim to a part of this district although the 
Muslims comprised 69 per cent of the total population. The 
Muslim response to this claim was one of open and bitter host! 
hty directed towards both Hindus and Sikhs but more particularly 
towards the Sikhs. This increased after the announcement of the 
Radchffe Award and a most determined and sustained attempt 
was made to eliminate the Sikh element from the district. The 
Sikh villages were subjected to ruthless attacks men women and 
children were brutally slaughtered and their bouses were reduced 
to ashes those who fled from their burning homes were pursued 

AD Ibr 


tfa*n-oac Join* uoci ciwipj 


Ih* doJrict 



The Punjab 


161 


or waylaid by the murderous hoards who infested the whole 
countryside Day after day foot caravans of refugees, on the 
way to the Dominion of India, were attacked , men and women 
were butchered, young girls were carried away and property was 
looted The progress of trains carrying non-Muslim refugees was 
delayed, there were frequent and quite inexplicable halts on the 
way, food and drink were denied to the passengers and mobs of 
armed hooligans attacked them at different stages of the journey 
The Muslim military escorts adopted an apathetic, if not acutally 
hostile, attitude while the non-Muslim escorts found themselves 
powerless against greater numbers, though m some instances they 
were successful in driving away the assailants There was very 
heavy loss of life in the district and numerous cases of mass 
conversion 

Upto August 10, Mr Said Zaman held the office of Deputy 
Commissioner and till then the district remained peaceful 
According to general opinion, his impartiality and firmness kept 
the unruly elements in check He was succeeded by Raja Hassan 
Akhtar, an avowed Muslim Leaguer, whose arrival appeared to 
encourage the Muslim gangsters A few days after he took charge, 
an alarm was raised in the town of Montgomery that some Mus- 
lim girls had been molested by Sikh boys The basis of this out- 
cry was that a Muslim girl who had purchased some sweets 
from a Sikh boy had refused to pay for them Muslim 
goondas began to collect and rioting spread through the city 
Three Sikhs and two Hmdus were stabbed to death Curfew was 
imposed but, the moment it was lifted, twenty-four non-Muslims 
going to the railway station were set upon and killed On this, 
curfew was re-imposed On the night of August 19, two Muslims, 
walking m the street during curfew hours, were fatally shot by 
Sikh soldiers on patrol duty The next morning a huge funeral 
procession was taken out through the mam streets, and it was 
openly said that the deaths of these two Muslims would be 
adequately avenged The Saw Mill of Dewan Chand and a 
number of shops in the bazaar were set fire to Hooligans then 
looted Okara Mill and the Delhi Cloth Mills retail shop A Hindu 
Magistrate, posted at Montgomery, at the time, attended a meeting 
in the Deputy Commissioner’s room on August 24 The Deputy 
Commissioner openly said that all Sikhs must be shot or killed at 
sight and that the Hindus could, for the time being, be spared 
Some Muslim refugees from East Punjab had, by now, arrived in 
Montgomery, and they ue'e located m a camp near the railway 



162 


Stem Reckoning 


station Their presence made it impossible for any non Muslim 
to reach the railway station with any degree of safety The non 
Muslims, waiting for trains at the railway station, were frequently 
attached and on August 25 they were fired upon. Muslim 
policemen were seen taking part m the attack Conditions in the 
non Muslim camp were extremely distressing. Provisions were 
scarce and frequently unobtainable In one case fruit sold to 
refugees was found to be poisoned. The Muslim guard did not 
permit water to be earned to the camp nor were the refugees 
allowed to bung it from the canal which ran at a distance of a 
few hundred feet. They were frequently forced to get drinking 
water from a small water-course m which carcasses of dead dogs 
had been thrown by the Muslims 

The non Muslim policemen were all disarmed under the 
orders of the Superintendent of Police on August 14 and they 
were kept m a serai near the railway station as virtual prisoners 
The Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police 
announced that they could not give any protection to the non 
Muslim minorities Condition in the town made it impossible for 
the non Muslims to live there. A well in Sabzi Mandi was full 
of dead bodies and the stench emanating from it proclaimed the 
fate in store for the non Muslims. It was not till August 25 
when Mr Belcher Commissioner Multan Division paid a visit to 
Montgomery that arrangements for the evacuation of some of the 
non Muslims by tram were made 

Hujra Shah Mulom was attacked on August 23 by a Muslim 
mob assisted by a Sub Inspector of Police and Muslim 
military A wholesale slaughter and burning of the houses of non 
Muslim residents ensued The frenzy of the mob prompted many 
women to commit suicide by jumping mto burning houses The 
depth of suffering and the anguish resulting from this brutal attack 
can be assessed by the fact that many men took the extreme step 
of putting their own women and children to death, to save them 
from a worse fate at the hands of the hooligans. One man was 
seen throwing his infant son four days old mto the flames. Out 
of a total population of nearly a thousand non Muslims only one 
hundred and sixty survived. At village Kasowal a she buffalo 
was slaughtered by the Muslims in full view of the Hindu resi 
dents. A protest merely made the Muslims more aggressive in 
their attitude. The Sub-Inspector of Police tried to pacify the 
two communities and for the time being a clash was averted 
A few days later a Muslim mob accompanied by members of t e 



The Punjab 


163 


Pakistan Army and a police constable arrived in the village 
These men came in military trucks, on horseback and on foot 
They laid a siege around the village and then attacked it from all 
sides For a time the non-Muslims defended themselves but many 
ot them were shot down by the Muslim soldiers The mob then 
ran wild and began an indiscriminate slaughter of non-Muslims 
Some, in their frenzy, impaled young children and infants on spears 
and flourished them in front of their mothers Nearly four hundred 
Hrndus and Sikhs perished in the course of this assault Many 
young girls were carried away by the raiders While this holo- 
caust was still in progress, a contingent of Hindu and Sikh 
soldiers, on patrol duty, arrived and, on seeing them, the mob 
dispersed and ran away 

Pakpattan was attacked and looted on August 23 and 24 
The next day a large convoy of non-Muslims left the town The 
convoy was stopped by the police at a distance of two furlongs 
and detained for several hours, during which time the non- 
Mushms were searched and looted of a large part of their 
valuables Proceeding further, they found dead bodies of non- 
Muslims strewn all along the route Near Chak No 22, they saw 
a lorry lying on its side with the dead body of its Hmdu driver 
near by A little further, they saw dead bodies of twenty-five non- 
Muslims by the roadside In Chak Daula Bala the Zaildar 
announced that he had received orders from the Deputy Commis- 
sioner and the Superintendent of Police to exterminate the Sikhs 
in his zail He said that this was merely the price which the Sikhs 
had to pay for what their co-religionists had done to the Muslims 
m East Punjab He offered safety to the Hindus if they agreed 
to embrace Islam News of an attack on a neighbouring village 
where thirty non-Muslims were murdered was received in Chak 
Daula Bala and this argument persuaded the non-Muslims to 
accept conversion The non-Muslims were finally evacuated by 
Hmdu military on September 29 The non-Muslim residents of 
Chak No 123 /EB loaded their belongings on bullock-carts and 
left the village They were stopped on the way by the police and 
told to go back The following mommg the village was sur- 
rounded by a huge mob of Muslims The villagers ran to the 
police station m the hope of finding shelter there They were 
pursued and many who had lagged behind were murdered 
The village was then looted and burnt down The Sub-Inspector 
advised the non-Muslims to go to Anfwala On the way the 
convoy was agam attacked and some young girls were earned 



164 


Stern Reckoning 


away The timely arrival of some Dogra soldiers on patrol duty 
saved the remaining non Muslims and they were escorted to 
Anfwala and thence to Ferozeporc Chak No 44 was attacked 
by a Muslim mob on August 22 and the non Muslims escaped 
to Chak No 47 On August 28 Chak No 47 was attacked by 
a large mob assisted by some Police officials and Muslim soldiers. 
The mob made a large breach in the canal embankment and the 
whole village was flooded The non Muslims resisted the attack 
for a time but nearly a thousand of them perished. Many young 
women were kidnapped. 

The non Muslim convo> from village Kandianwala was 
attacked fust outside the village on August 19 and ten persons 
were kil'cd. On August 22, a similar convoy from Mandi Mira 
Singh Wala was attacked Nme non Muslims were killed and 
almost the entire property of the convoy looted On August 23 
non Muslims, livmg m village Bhila Gulab Singh were attacked. 
Over a hundred persons were killed. On August 24 a large 
caravan which left Chak No 4/14L with bullock -carts and cattle 
was attacked by a Muslim mob accompanied by Muslim military 
The attack resulted m many deaths and the looting of consider 
able property There were attacks on convoys on August 25 at 
Rattake and on August 26 at Anfwala where there was an 
exchange of shots between the non Muslim escort and some Mus 
hm soldiers. The Canal Head Works at Sulemanke which 
became a bottleneck for the refugees crossing over into the Indian 
Dominion was the scene of numerous attacks by Muslim mobs. 
In some parts of the district the road runs parallel and close to 
the railway line and, on at least one occasion Baluch militar y 
travelling by train fired upon a foot convoy killing taany 
non Muslims 

There were three very senous attacks on trains in the district 
On August 15 a number of non Muslims left Okara by the Sind 
Express. This tram was attacked at Harappa and of about three 
hundred non Muslims who were in two bogies only twelve sur 
vived The train from Pakpattan was attacked near Basirpur 
Railway Station and many persons were murdered On Septem 
ber 26 an east bound tram arrived at Pakpattan The Mahrattn 
escort was replaced by a Baluch escort After several hours delay 
at Pakpattan the tram left at 11 pan. It was stopped a mile 
beyond the station and a Muslim mob shouting 44 Ya AH Ya 
Ah” attacked it About four hundred non Muslims were killed 
m the course of this assault and over a hundred girls were earned 



The Punjab 


165 


away Almost the entire property of the passengers was looted 
The tram did not start till 6 a m next morning In the middle 
of October, a tram arrived at Montgomery at 9 p m and was then 
driven back a distance of two miles and stopped In the 
darkness of the night, a mob of Muslims came out of the cotton 
fields on either side of the railway track and attacked the 
passengers who were travelling m open goods wagons There was 
considerable loss of life Almost every east-bound tram passing 
through Montgomery or Pakpattan was attacked at some stage 
of its journey Some of these attacks took place m the area of 
Lahore District and some of the worst massacres were witnessed 
at Raiwmd Railway Station 

Lyallput District 

The district of Lyaflpur was the most prosperous and produc- 
tive of the colony areas and one of the richest m the whole 
provmce The cotton crop made a substantial contnbution to the 
wealth of Lyallpur, and apart from adding to the prosperity of the 
agriculturists it was responsible for the establishment of several 
industrial concerns There were many important gram markets 
m the district, e g , Lyallpur, Jaranwalla, Gojra, Tandlianwala, all 
of which were controlled and run by non-Muslims Large 
amounts of Hindu capital had been sunk in setting up cotton 
ginning and weaving factories and flour and sugar mills On the 
agricultural side a very large share of the holdings in the colony 
area was in the hands of the Sikhs who contributed the major 
portion of the land revenue So extensive were the financial and 
proprietary interests of the non-Muslims* m this district that even 
after the enforcement of the Radcliffe Award, when Lyallpur 
became part of Pakistan, and when the life and property of the 
minorities were seen to be in jeopardy, the non-Muslims did not 
migrate as readily as from some of the other districts of the 
Punjab They fingered on, hoping that the state of madness would 
soon pass away and the return of normal conditions would enable 
them to five peaceful fives They received assurances of protec- 
tion from the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Hamid, whose impartial 

* The Sikhs owned 75 per cent of the total holdings and in the colony areas they paid 
80 per cent of the land reyenue The non-Muslims controlled sixty Joint stock companies 
as against two such companies controlled by Muslims of the seventy-two factories in the 
district Bfty-scvcn were owned by non-Muslims The figures of the taxes paid by the Muslims 


and non-Musiims were 

Non-Muslims Muslims 

Rs (lakhs) Rs (lakhs) 

Property tax 14 0 2 

Sales tax 3 0 0 1 

Income-tax 59 5 5 0 



166 


Stem Reckoning 


and helpful attitude kept the lawless elements m check for a 
considerable time Unqualified tributes are paid to his mdefati 
gable energies in this direction and large numbers of refugees 
have expressed the opinion that, but for his exertions the loss of 
non Muslim life would have been much greater The emotional 
wave of communal frenzy however proved too strong in the end, 
and the arrival of large numbers of Muslim refugee* from East 
Punjab who had suffered the retaliatory wrath of the Sikhs made 
it impossible to preserve the safety of the non Muslims. The Sikhs, 
in particular were singled out and made to pay heavily for the 
crimes of tbeir co-rehgiomsts in Amritsar Ferozeporc, Ludhiana 
and Julfundur Lyalipur witnessed three horrific holocausts and 
at Jaranwala and Gojra, gruesome tragedies of murder and rapine 
were enacted. In the rural areas, village after village was attacked 
by Muslim mobs assisted, in many cases by Muslim military and 
police personnel Foot and lorry convoys were held up and the 
travellers subjected to ruthless and inhuman barbarities An 
analysis of the evidence recorded show* that, in all seventy three 
different village* and towns were attacked and there were ninety 
distinct major incidents. In addition on thirty nine different 
occasions foot convoys on lomc* were attacked. The total loss 
of life was considerable and the value of property looted or 
destrojed ran into several crores of rupees. 

The first major incident in the district was a mass attack on 
Tandbanwala an important gram market and a police station. 
There was a large concentration of non Muslims m Tamilian wala 
drawn from the local residents and from the neighbouring villages. 
On August 26 a huge Muslim mob attacked tho Sikh Gurdwara 
lymg on the outskirts of the town The Gurdwara was burnt and 
razed to the ground In it perished many Sikhs who had taken 
shelter there. Two days later a larger mob attacked the town 
in the afternoon. A large bouse in Ward No 6 was burnt down. 
A gate erected m front of Ward No 4 was stoned and demolished. 
It is estimated that over two thousand persons were killed during 
tho course of this attack and many young girls were kidnapped. 
A small batch of Hindu troops under tho command of a 
Sikh officer arrived at midnight and tried to drive away the 
raiders. The troops were attacked and the Sikh officer lost bb 
life. The next morning the surviving non Muslim* were escorted 
to Lyalipur 



The Punjab 


167 


Jaranwala was attacked on September 8, by a large Muslim 
mob accompanied by Muslim police and military who fired on 
the non-Muslims during the course of the assault The attack 
continued through the night and large numbers of non-Muslims 
were done to death Their property was looted and many of their 
girls were carried away m trucks A witness saw pools of blood 
and dead bodies lying in the streets The next morning, the Mus- 
lims announced that Sikhs would not be allowed to live m 
Jaranwala On hearing this, many Sikhs had their beards cut as 
they believed that a Hindu appearance would ensure their safety 
Large numbers of them took shelter in the Gurdwara, and the 
building was stoned several times On September 12, the non- 
Muslims formed a caravan and left the town They were searched 
and looted of their valuables The caravan was attacked and 
many persons lost their fives In this attack the Baluch military 
escort is alleged to have taken a promment part A refugee camp 
had been set up at Jaranwala and conditions m this camp were 
extremely distressing Ihe water taps were closed and the refuse 
of the town was thrown near it Provisions were scarce and 
unobtainable and an epidemic of cholera which broke out m 
the camp took a toll of several lives 

The Hindu military, stationed at Kamaha to protect the non- 
Muslims, was replaced, on September 1, by Muslim troops 
Nawab Saadat Ah Khan and a number of other Muslim 
Zemindars of the ilaqa made very gallant efforts to protect the 
Hmdu and Sikh residents and offered their assistance The town 
was attacked on September 6 by a huge Muslim mob It is said 
that ammunition was given to this mob by some Muslim soldiers 
who arrived m Kamaha by a refugee tram The mob invaded 
the whole town, attacked the Khalsa High School, the Gurdwara 
Prem Sati, Arya Putn Pathshala and the house of Bahadur Chand 
Zemindar where non-Muslims had collected In the course of a 
determined attack, made by the Muslims, large numbers of 
Hmdus and Sikhs perished Many young women were kidnapped 
On September 7, a Hmdu Army officer arrived with two military 
trucks to evacuate members of his family He had an armed 
escort with him and the non-Muslims of Kamaha begged him to 
stay and lead them to a place of safety The officer had a small 
military escort which was quite inadequate to protect a convoy 
of several thousands He, therefore, left Deprived of this avenue 
of escape the non-Muslims despaired of surviving the bitter 
attack The next day, however, Nawab Saadat Ah Khan appealed 



168 


Stem Reckoning 


to the good sense of the Mushms. It u said that he went to them 
with folded handj and his turban round his neck and asked them 
to spare the non Muslims. The fury of the mob had abated and 
they desisted from continuing their brutal attack. The non 
Muslims were a few days later evacuated m military trucks and 
refugee trains. 

Gojra was attacked on September 9 by a Muslim mob 
assisted by Muslim soldiers. About a hundred Sikhs who had 
taken shelter in the local Gurdwara were murdered. The non 
Muslim shops houses and factories were pillaged. The non 
Muslims of Toba Tek Singh were disarmed on September 4 and 
the next day a Muslim mob attacked the town. The gates of the 
Gurdwara. where a number of Sikhs had taken shelter were broken 
down. Some Sikh residents escaped by wearing women s clothes 
and removing tbeir beards The town was subjected to wholesale 
looting The inmates of the local refugee camp had to pay large 
sums of money to the Muslim military in charge. Despite this 
neither their life nor the honour of their womenfolk could be 
assured On September 6 a foot caravan which started from the 
town was attacked by a Muslim mob and the Baluch military 
escort A non Muslim refugee train which arrived at Toba Tek 
Singh was attacked and over a thousand passengers were mur 
dered Many young women were kidnapped. The Sikh Assistant 
Station Master of Bhahke and his father in law were murdered 
at the railway station A young woman of his family was earned 
away 

Arauu witnessed a most homble holocaust m which a large 
number of non Muslims lost their lives Syed Nasir All Shah, 
on ex Unionist member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly who 
had joined the Muslim League in June took a prominent part in 
this incident. A large number of non Muslims from the neigh 
bounng villages within a mdtus of six or seven miles had congre- 
gated at Arauti and Syed Nasir All Shah at first assured them 
that they would not be molested He advised them not to go to 
the refugee camp and when conditions In the neighbourhood 
began to deteriorate he told them to accept Islam if they valued 
their lives On September 12 a large number of Muslims from 
the adjoining villages gathered jn Arauti and made an attack on 
the non Muslims in the afternoon Large numbers of them were 
killed and the killing continued through the night The next 
morning several fires were lit and the dead bodies were burnt 
Even the wounded who were alhc were not spared and many of 



file Punjab 


169 


them were burnt alive Some non-Muslims had sought shelter 
in the houses of local Muslims These were combed out and put 
to death Many young girls attempted suicide by jumping into 
wells Some of them were rescued and carried away The entire 
non-Muslim property was then pooled and divided among the 
rioters It is said that Syed Nasir Ah Shah received a large share 
of this loot In a neighbouring village, Sandihanwah, about six 
hundred non-Muslims had sought shelter Syedam Anwar Bibi 
and her son who wielded a great deal of influence in the village 
refused to permit an attach on these refugees and, be it said to 
their credit, they called their followers and escorted the non- 
Muslims to the refugee camp at Mian Channu safely Samundn 
and Kluhald Kalan were subjected to severe attacks and large 
numbers of non-Muslims lost their lives in these villages In 
Samundri the dead bodies were carried away in trucks to destroy 
the evidence of the horrible crime 

At Lyallpur conditions remained comparatively peaceful until 
the end of September The Deputy Commissioner strained every 
nerve to avert an attack on the non-Muslims, of whom a large 
number had collected in the town On September 3, while he 
was holding a meeting of the Magistrates, the dead body of a 
Sikh was brought in This spread panic in the town and there 
were a few stabbing cases A cotton ginning factory was looted 
by the Muslim employees The West Punjab Government were 
anxious to drive out all non-Muslims and more particularly the 
Sikhs On September 5 the Governor, Sir Francis Mudie, had 
written to Mr Jinnah “ I am telling everyone that I do not care 
how the Sikhs get across the border the great thing is to get rid 
of them as soon as possible There is still little sign of the three 
lakh Sikhs m Lyallpur moving, but in the end they too will have 
to go ”* On September 6, Sir Francis Mudie came to Lyallpur 
and told the Deputy Commissioner that all Sikhs should be moved 
to the refugee camp as a preliminary step to their bemg evacuated 
to India .This direction appears to have given a lead to the local 
Muslims and tension in the town increased The first major inci- 
dent occurred on the morning of October 1 A large non-Muslim 
foot convoy from Sargodha was passing through Lyallpur and, 
when a part of it had crossed the railway level crossmg, near 
Tarkabad, the gates of the crossmg were closed A mob of 
armed Muslims then fell upon the portion of the convoy left 


* Sec Notes to Chapter III in Appendix I 


12 



170 


Stem Reckoning 


behind and began a ruthless massa c re. Pandemonium broke out 
Screaming women and children began to run hither and thither 
and the Baluch military escort opened fire upon them. The 
property loaded m bullock-carts was looted and as the assault 
continued through the day the ground was strewn with dead 
bodies The Deputy Commissioner recalled the Baluch military 
m charge of the convoy and deputed a police guard in its place. 
Soon afterwards a contingent of Gurkha military arrived and led 
the convoy to safety The same night an attack was made on the 
refugee camp m khalsa College where many of the non Muslims 
who had survived the assault on the foot convoy had taken 
shelter The Muslim military in charge of the camp took part 
In the lolling and looting A large number of non Muslims lost 
their lives and many young girls were earned away Men and 
women were searched for valuables on their persons. The next 
night the Arya School Refugee Camp was attacked m a similar 
manner The Baluch soldiers in charge of this camp had been 
molesting the inmates for many days. They had frequently 
searched them for cash and valuables. They used to carry away 
women at mght and rape them. The attack on the night of 
October 2 however resulted m a veritable holocaust The camp 
was attacked from several sides simultaneously and the Muslim 
military opened fire on the inmates. All the property m the camp 
was looted It is impossible to make an exact estimate of the 
loss of life occasioned as it is said that large numbers of dead 
bodies were earned away m military trucks during the night and 
thrown in the river Chenab When the Deputy Commissioner 
amved in the morning he found a hundred and fifty dead bodies 
still lying in the camp. The general opinion however r ' 11 that 
more than two thousand persons m the camp were kiUe^ The 
Deputy Commissioner replaced the Baluch military by & police 
guard This attack was carefully planned and the A gen t the 
Imperial Bank heard his police guard talking boastfully jn the 
morning, that the school camp would bo attacked in the e\ ^ing. 
Ho did not however attach any importance to this talk othc 
the tragedy might possibly have been averted. 

A canal bridge at Saloonijhal in Tchxil Samundn was V, ^ 
scene of persistent attacks on non Muslim convoys passing oW.^ 
it. Scarcely a single foot convoy was allowed to pass withoh^ 
serious mishap On September 11 a convoy from Samundn wiv 
attacked and sixty persons were killed. The next day a convoj^ 
from Kamalia was similarly set upon and nine persons were killed. 



/ he Punjab 


17! 


Foot caravans from Toba Ick Singh. Clink No 44. Chak No 46. 
Chak No 531, Chak No 91 a caravan from Jodha Nagan, 
another one from Chak No 293 /J B , a convoy of lorries from 
Chak No 203/G B and another convoy from Chak No 360 were 
attacked at dilferent times In every case the refugees were looted 
and their girls were carried away 

The residents of village Tiba Dhak Salha were told on August 
23, that their safety lay in departure The local Zaildar offered to 
help them in going away to a place of safety rhe non-Muslims 
accordingly collected their more precious belongings and left the 
village, in a procession, on August 24 They passed Tandhanwala 
and crossed the river Ravi by boat, intending to go to Okara 
Across the river some Muslims met them and told them to return 
to their village as it was unsafe to go further The refugees spent 
the night on the bank of the river The next morning the Sub- 
Inspector and the Zaildar, however, assured them 'that it was 
inadvisable to return and the more prudent course lay in 
proceeding on their journey They gave them an escort of Muslim 
villagers Near village Burj Jiwa Khan some Muslim soldiers 
opened fire on the convoy The non-Muslims ran back towards 
the river The soldiers were joined by a large Muslim mob, 
armed with deadly weapons, and an attack was launched on the 
refugees The stragglers were cut down or shot Those who 
reached the riverside safely spent the night in anxious dread, as 
no boats were available The next morning the sound of drums 
was heard and, soon after, the Muslims opened a fresh assault 
Many jumped into the river and were drowned One woman 
strapped her three children to her waist and entered the river, the 
two younger children were drowned Almost the entire convoy 
was decimated within a few hours The Muslims carried away 
many young girls and the property of the caravan One young 
girl was taken by the ruffians to village Burj Jiwa Khan On the 
way she saw dead bodies lying everywhere in the fields, on the 
roads and in the canal minors She was kept at Burj Jiwa Khan 
for four days m the house of a Muslim At night she succeeded 
in escapmg but was overtaken and beaten She jumped mto a 
, canal minor and her pursuers, believing her to be drowned, went 
away She says, “I swam for a mile or so and then, getting out, 
went to a village near the canal bank An old Muslim took pity 
on me and bandaged my bleedmg wounds The next day he asked 
me to leave the vdlage Eleven days later I found myself m my 
own village, Tiba Dhak Salha I cannot explam how God helped 


172 


Stern Reckoning 


roc to reach my village.” A few other survivors also reached their 
native village in this manner and were finally evacuated to India,* 
A convoy of three trucks carrying passengers from Lyallpur 
on August 25 was stopped near Sharakpur and a tt ac k ed. The 
passengers were made to psy a heavy ransom for ti eir safety and 
were then allowed to proceed on them way Another truck which 
left Lyallpur on September 27 with twenty five passengers, was 
also stopped near Sharaipur The Muslim driver packed up two 
Pathan passenge's and then drove on. A httle further be left the 
road which had been breached by recent floods and drove the 
truck through some fields. A mob of armed Muslims attacked the 
Luck and tolled some of the passengers. All the property m the 
truck was looted and some of the girl* were taken away to 
Sharakpur They were kept in a boose where a number of 
kidnapped women were already present Some of the women were 
later rescued and escorted to India. A convoy of four lomes 
proceed mg to Lahore on October 24 was attacked and looted m 
a similar manner The truck containing women was subjected to a 
thorough search and some of the women were stripped naked to 
sec tf they had any valuables on their persons. Some young girls 
were raped by the roadside. The passengers were then asked to 
get down and the trucks were driven back to Lyallpur The next 
morning a military truck containing some Gurkhas arrived and 
escorted them to Lahore. 

Shahpur District 

Shahjxir is another colony district though the colonists are 
drawn not from Central Punjab but from the north western 
district* and are for the most part, Muslim The non Muslim 
population of the district was not more than 15 per cent There 
was a sprinkling of Sikh village* but the majority of the 
non Muslims were concentrated in the towns and the depots for 
agricultural produce. Sargodha Bhera Khushab Loon Miani and 
BhaironwaJ were places in which many well to-do and even 
wealthy non Muslims resided. The March riots affected only a 
few villages m the Shah pur District and were soon suppressed. 
Ip Sargodha the headquarters of the district there was peace 
almost throughout There was however considerable tension 
owing to the happenings m the neighbourhood A peculiar feature 


Foot (savor* »«* tmteimi km EotfcuwtlB. Kta a*d C£»* No. 27 T t » »nU «wvU. 
Sow JCor» BooeUow JU*Jo Koto tod otbtr ptom. 



The Punjab 


173 


of the district was that forcible conversions took place on a very 
large scale m the rural areas The Hindus found themselves 
greatly outnumbered and, when given the offer of conversion to 
Islam as the price of safety, had no other choice but to submit 
In some villages they were able to live in peace after their decision 
but, when they were evacuated to India under military escort, they 
had to leave behind all their belongings Another feature of the 
district was that in Sargodha a number of false cases were brought 
against rich and prominent non-Muslims alleging that they owed 
money to Muslims Warrants were issued for their arrest and, in 
some cases, the victims were taken into custody They dould only 
leave Sargodha on payment of heavy ransoms Ornaments pawned 
with non-Muslim sahukars were returned without the debts bemg 
discharged In many villages the non-Muslims were not attacked 
and were told to quit and make room for the Muslims They were 
not allowed to take any property with them In some of the 
western villages Pathans looted non-Muslim property Camps 
were set up near Sargodha and Phulerwan and the conditions m 
these camps were far from satisfactory Foodstuffs were not 
available and at Phulerwan the general complaint was that owing 
to curfew orders non-Muslims could not even go out to ease 
themselves although Muslims moved about freely Except m a 
few places the killing of non-Muslims was not on a large scale, 
and the loss of life was not so heavy as in some other districts 
The loss of property, however, was considerable 

In Bhaironwal, a Muslim mob attacked the village towards 
the end of August The non-Muslims abandoned their houses and 
shop§ and took shelter in a Gurdwara The shops and houses 
were looted and a mass massacre of the non-Muslims in the 
Gurdwara followed The survivors were forcibly converted to 
Islam and were made to eat beef The dead bodies were thrown 
in the nver Chenab near by Mitha Tiwana was attacked on 
August 19, and the attack contmued for four days The Batra 
family, who owned several thousand acres of land and possessed 
eight licensed guns, defended their mohalla by mounting guard 
on the roof of then house They were, however, deprived of their 
guns, taken mto custody and charged with the offence of attempted 
murder This was due to the fact that shots fired by them m 
self-defence had injured two men In Khushab there was some 
trouble m the month of March and the Mahant of the Bairagi 
shnne was murdered In August the non-Muslim shops were 



174 


Stern Reckoning 


looted and many of them were ejected from t-hcir houses. Eight 
non Muslims left Bhalwal on August 17 with the intention of 
going to Sargodha They were attacked and murdered at the 
rail v. ay station by Muslim League National Guards. The residents 
of Khwaja Ahmad were converted to Islam and robbed of their 
belongings. They were taken to the Jumma Mosque m Sargodha 
from where they were rescued by the Gurkha military In Mandi 
Warchhan a number of non Muslims refused conversion They 
were promptly murdered. Their dead bodies wert then taken to a 
Hindu temple and burnt About sixty residents of Raipur left 
their village with their valuables but they were stopped on the way 
by the police who searched them and deprived them of their 
valuables. They proceeded further and were persuaded to return 
home by two local Muslim Zemindars who gave them assurances 
of safety On the way back they were attacked by a Muslim mob 
who killed several of them and abducted a number of joung girls. 
The residents of Chak Ramdas were saved by the timely arrival 
of a European military officer when a Muslim mob was preparing 
to attack them. The massacre of Loon Mjani and the events of 
Bhera can best be described in the words of two witnesses extracts 
from whose statements are given below These statements were 
chosen because the deponents are simple unsophisticated persons 
who have given a fair and unadorned account of what occurred 
and have not hesitated to mention facts m favour of the Muslim 
officials 

Statement of Lakhmi Das a labourer of Loon Mi am 

Malakwal a town near my town was reported to have been 
attacked in the beginning of September and we were feeling 
nervous The Sub-Inspector of Police who was a Mohammedan 
and had come recently from Khushab or Nowshera, assured us 
that as long as he was there we would suffer no danger or loss. 
He bad taken the place of a Sikh Sub-Inspector of Police We. 
the non Muslims of Miam felt satisfied by the assurances given 
by the Muslim Sub-Inspector There were three attempts on 
Miani by Muslim goondas of adjoining villages in the first week 
of September 1947 but the Sub Inspector beat off these attacks 
and arrested some of the goondas of the assaulting party The 
arrested persons were made to sit the whole day at the police 
station and then released in the evening- The non Muslims of 
Miani thought that the Sub-Inspector was a strong man and would 
really safeguard their interests and protect them On September 9 



file Punjab 


175 


however, drums contmued beating the whole night We felt 
afraid but the Sub-Inspector told us that there was nothing to 
fear, the military had arrived and he had police arrangements 
also and so no harm would come to us He had also told 
previously that he was arranging for our evacuation 

“ On one side we were hearing drums being beaten and were 
feeling nervous On the other hand, there was an assurance by 
the Sub-Inspector and by the local Muslims who had behaved 
well so far Nothing happened that night but on September 10, 
at about 12 noon, there was a sudden attack on Miani First, we 
heard shots being fired and we thought that the military were 
firing at the mob But, after a little tune, we were astomshed to 
find that the mob of Muslim goonclas and dacoits, armed with all 
sorts of weapons, aided by the police constables, a head constable 
and an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police who had a cut on his 
upper lip, and Baluch military, had attacked and were shooting 
the Hindus indiscriminately The head constable and the Assistant 
Sub-Inspector were proclaiming that even a suckling baby would 
not be spared The firing contmued till 4pm and the non-Muslims 
were threatened with death if they did not give up their cash and 
valuables, but, when they handed over their valuables, they were 
mercilessly beaten, assaulted and murdered Some babies were 
even cut into pieces People were thrown from the house-tops 
like balls Young girls were abducted Their number was about 
sixty My daughter-m-law was killed A granddaughter of mine 
was also killed I and my son Knshan Lai were seriously injured 
and left as dead In my vicinity about two hundred persons lay 
dead or injured In all about nme hundred persons died and four 
hundred were wounded Some of the mob were killing and 
inflicting injuries, some were lootmg and some were engaged in 
breaking open locks and doors When I saw that the dacoits had 
left, I got up and cried for water Someone replied that he was 
coming and shortly afterwards the head constable, Qureshi, and 
a constable, accompamed by some military men, came and told 
us that the survivors should come out and that we would be 
taken to the camp in the house of Jawala Sahai Chadda We 
went there and water was supplied to us by one of the constables 
Later Qureshi head constable told us that curfew had been 
relaxed and that we could go home and bnng our belongings and 
luggage I brought a beddmg first and left it m the camp Then 
I went again and brought a small trunk and a small beddmg 



176 


Stem Reckoning 


containing some children a clothes and a quilt Thu latter load 
waj snatched away by the said Onresbi on the way 

“The Sub-Inspector was not seen the whole day The 
Assistant Sub-Inspector asked the able-bodied among ui to 
remove the corpses and we accordingly collected about four 
hundred bv the evening and burnt them. Meanwhile Hindu 
military accompanied by some Muslim soldier* reached the camp 
and gave first aid to the injured. The r emainin g five hundred 
bodies were collected the next morning and burnt with wood 
and kerosene oU. Wc were then transferred to Phulerwan Hospital 
and from there I, my son and about a hundred others were trans- 
ferred to the Sargodha Hospital From Saigodha we have come 
to the Amritsar Refugee Camp ** 

The second statement was given by Shnmati Ram Pian, a resi 
dent of Bhera 

“Oa August 20 1947 a Muslim mob armed with chhavis 
kulliaris etc. numbering about four or five hundred entered 
our street With the mob were members of the National Guards 
and the local police. They openly and loudly said that wo should 
vacate the houses and run away otherwise we would bo killed, 
and that everything lying in our houses belonged to Pakistan 
Eight persons m Bhandawali Galli were killed and four or five 
others were wounded The Muslims tried to break open our 
doors and when they could not do so they abused us. They said 
that they would kidnap our young girls and marry them to 
Muslims. Tbe sweepers v-ero forbidden to clean our streets 
and remove the night -sod from our houses On August 22, we 
left our houses and reached tbe railway station Wc had to 
leave all- our luggage at home. There was no train that day and 
on August 24 we again went to the railway station The lorry 
dnver who was a Muslim charged us five rupees per passenger 
upto the railway station The National Guardj and the police 
charged us four rupees each railway fare for Mandi Baha ud Did, 
although the real fare is only ten annas. Only some of us could 
go on the 24th and the rest including myself went on the 25th. 
During the night tbe Sikh officer and his non Muslim subordi 
nates who formed our escort undertook to protect us. They 
remained awake the whole night On the way the tram was 
stopped as the trank of a huge tree lay across tbe line. A Muslim 
mob attacked us with guns, hatchets etc. shouting " Allah-o* 
Akhar ~ The non-Muslim escort defended uj and killed many 



The Punjab 


Ml 


Muslims The train reached Mandi Baha-ud-Dm at 1-30 pm 
It was very hot and we asked for water There was none avail- 
able as the water taps at the station had been closed Even our 
babies were not given water and the Muslims said that they were 
ready to supply us with their urine A child in our compart 
ment died of thirst We were taken to a camp one and a half 
miles from the railway station and here, too, we found that the 
water taps had been removed We arranged to get water from the 
wells by letting down vessels tied to bed-sheets strung together 
In the camp the rations were not free and we could only buy three 
chhattaks every other day The non-Muslims in Mandi Baha-ud- 
Din sometimes sold us alia at four seers per rupee but the police 
removed these non-Muslims and brought them to the camp 
Their stocks were left behind and taken possession of by the 
Muslims Cholera spread and, as the result of it, many non- 
Mushms died As the Muslim National Guards, the local police 
and the Muslim military had taken possession of all the fuel 
wood in the Mandi, the non-Muslims m the camp used to light 
fire for cremating the dead bodies by chopping up their boxes 
This, ‘however, was not enough and. frequently, dead bodies 
remained uncremated On September 27 and 28, thirty-two 
trucks sent by the Indian Union arrived but the Muslim military 
permitted only those persons to go in the trucks who paid heavy 
bribes I was allowed to sit m a truck at the request of a 
Subedar 

“ On September 10, sixty non-Muslims died after taking milk 
It was said that the milk was poisoned ” 

Jhang District 

Mass massacres of Hindus and Sikhs and wholesale plunder 
of non-Muslim property m the towns of Jhang-Magiana, Masan, 
Shorkot and Chimot were the salient features of the events in 
Jhang District Similar tragedies on a smaller scale, though not 
less gruesome m their intensity or m the suffering occasioned to 
the individual victims, took place in almost all the villages m the 
rural areas A study of all the availabe evidence, consisting of 
the statements of hundreds of refugees from the district, leaves 
no doubt whatever that these results were achieved by the 
vitriolic utterances of Pir Mubarak All Shah, the local Muslim 
League member of the Provincial Legislative Assembly, and the 
assistance given to him and to his goonda followers by Mr 
Zaffar-ul-Haq Khan, District Magistrate, Mr Mohammad Akbar, 



178 Stem Reckoning 

Additional District Magistrate and Mr Hasnat Ahmad, City 
Magistrate. 

In the month of March the post of the Deputy Commissioner 
was held by a Sikh officer and the peace of the district remained 
undisturbed. The Superintendent of Police was a British officer 
and his attitude towards the minorities was sympathetic- and pro- 
tective. In August Mr Zaffar ul Haq Khan assumed charge as 
District Magistrate and Mr Hasnat Ahmad was appointed Cftj 
Magistrate Signs of unrest were observed soon after August 15 
and Muslims took out processions through the streets of Jhang 
in defiance of prohibitory orders under section 144 Cr iminal Pro- 
cedure Code. The processionists openly asked the Hindui to 
leave the town. When an appeal was made to Mr Hasnat Ahmad 
ho merely retorted that his own house in Amritsar had been burnt 
by the Sikhs and ho made no secret of his resentment against 
the non Muslims. His attitude oould not but encourage the 
gangster element in the town Pir Mubarak Ah Shah went to 
Karachi in the middle of August to attend a conference of the 
Muslim League. He returned to Jhang on the 21st. and soon 
afterwards Muslim hostility became more open and more intense. 
On August 24 Mr Ryan the Superintendent of Police went to 
Lahore to consult the Deputy Inspector-General of Police It was 
said that his departure from the district was due to a cunning 
move on the part of the District Magistrate and Pir Mubarak Ah 
Shab who wanted to have him out of the way in order to carry 
out their plans successfully The events which followed support 
this hypothesis. On the morning of August 25 trouble began in 
the city of Jhang Maghiana Two persons were stabbed near the 
Canal Office and one in front of the Sessions House. The news 
of these assaults spread through the town like wild fire and while 
the non Muslims took shelter in their bouses the Muslim hooli 
gans became openly rowdy and ran about assaulting unwary 
non Muslims and setting fire to their houses and shops. By the 
afternoon the whole of the town was affected and large fires were 
seen b azing in different quarters. The wife of the Hindu Station 
Mastc came to the city with her clothes soaked in blood and ay 
mu that her husband and son had been brutally stabbed at the 
railway station The following night was comparatively quiet 
but on the morning of August 26 utter lawlessness broke out 
and the Muslim mobs began to attack Hindus and Sikhs with 
redoubled fury The military and the police patrolled the aty in 
a leisurely fashion as if nothing serious were happening and 



The Punjab 


179 


looked on calmly while murder and arson were committed under 
their very eyes In some cases they even gave open support to 
the hooligans by shooting at the Hindus and looting their pro- 
perty Some soldiers handed over their guns to the Muslim 
marauders Pir Mubarak All Shah was seen firing from a 303 
rifle and leading the mobs Houses and shops in Sultamvala, 
Budhewala, Hasnana, Dhupsari and Railway Bazaar were looted 
Dozens of houses were burnt and destroyed This state of affairs 
continued throughout the day on the 26th and the following night 
It is estimated that nearly two thousand non-Muslims perished in 
this brutal attack , about four hundred girls were carried away 
and some who were later recovered were found to have been 
raped in a most horrible and inhuman manner On the morning 
of August 27, when the fury of the marauders had abated some- 
what, the non-Muslims came out of their houses and, taking their 
cash and valuables, formed a procession with the intention of 
going to the bungalow of the District Magistrate and appealing to 
him for help On the way they were stopped by a military and 
police picket who ordered them to leave their property behind 
Complaints made to the Additional District Magistrate and the 
City Magistrate were of no avail The processionists were forced 
to comply with the orders of the police and continued their 
journey without their belongings The District Magistrate told 
them to go to a refugee camp which had been set up in the school 
premises 

The District Magistrate had, on August 25, passed two 
orders One of these prohibited the departure of any lorry with- 
out the specific permission of the District Magistrate and the 
other placed a ban on the removal of all property A copy of 
this latter order was sent to the President, Town Committee, 
Lalian, and this copy was brought out by one of the refugees 
Its text is given below — 

✓ 

“ ORDER 

V 

I, Zaffar-ul-Haq Khan, District Magistrate, Jhang, do hereby 
order that none leavmg the Jhang District, shall export any 
goods of any descnption whatsoever, except the necessary 
wearing apparel, and the beddmg enjoined by weather 

Any contravention of this order is a penal offence under the 
Public Safety Act 



168 


Stem Reckoning 


to the good sense of the Muslims It is said that he went to them 
with folded hands and his turban round his neck, and asked them 
to spare the non Muslims. The fury of the mob had abated and 
they desisted from continuing their brutal attack. The non 
Muslims were a few days later evacuated in military trucks and 
refugee trains 

Gojra was attacked on September 9 by a Muslim mob 
assisted by Muslim soldiers About a hundred Sikhs who had 
taken shelter m the local Gurdwara were murdered. The non 
Muslim shops houses and factories were pillaged. The non 
Muslims of Toba Tek Singh were disarmed on September 4 and 
the next day a Muslim mob attacked the town. The gates of the 
Gurdwara where a number of Sikhs had taken shelter were broken 
down. Some Sikh residents escaped by wearing womens clothes 
and removing tbeir beards The town was subjected to wholesale 
looting The inmates of the local refugee camp had to pay largo 
sums of money to the Muslim military m charge Despite this 
neither their life nor the honour of their womenfolk could be 
assured On September 6 a foot caravan which started from the 
town was attacked by a Muslim mob and the Baluch military 
escort A non Muslim refugee tram which arrived at Toba Tek 
Singh was attacked and over a thousand passengers were mur 
dered. Many young women were kidnapped. The Sikh Assistant 
Station Master of Bhalike and his father in law were murdered 
at the railway station. A young w-oman of his family was earned 
away 

Arauti witnessed a most homble holocaust in which a large 
number of non Muslims lost their lives. Syed Nasir All Shah 
an ex Unionist member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly who 
had joined the Muslim League m June took a prominent part in 
this incident. A large number of non Muslims from the neigh 
bounng villages within a radius of six or seven miles had congre- 
gated at Arauti and Syed Nasir Ah Shah at first assured them 
that they would not be molested. He advised them not to go to 
the refugee camp and when conditions in the neighbourhood 
began to deteriorate he told them to accept Islam if they valued 
their Uses On September 12 a large number of Muslims from 
the adjoining villages gathered in Arauti and made an attack on 
the non Muslims in the afternoon Large numben of them were 
killed and the killing continued through the night The next 
morning several Arcs were lit and the dead bodies were burnt 
Even the wounded who were alive were not spared and many of 



169 


rite Punjab 

them were burnt alive Some non-Muslims had sought shelter 

“ lri s , of locai Muii,ms - Thcsc werc combed °« U 

to death Many young girls attempted suicide by jumping into 
wells Some of them were rescued and earned away The” 
non-Muslim property was then pooled and divided among the 
rioters It is said that Syed Nasir All Shall received a large share 
or this loot In a neighbouring village, Sandihanwali, about six 
hundred non-Muslims had sought shelter Syedam Anwar Bibi 
and her son who wielded a great deal of influence in the village 
refused to permit an attack on these refugees and, be it said to 
heir credit, they called their followers and escorted the non- 
M 7™ s , lo i the reuses camp at Mian Channu safely Samundn 
and Khihala Kalan were subjected to severe attacks and large 
numbers of non-Muslims lost their lives in these villages In 
bamundn the dead bodies were carried away in trucks to destroy 
the evidence of the horrible crime 

At Lyallpur conditions remained comparatively peaceful until 
t e end of September The Deputy Commissioner strained every 
nerve to avert an attack on the non-Muslims, of whom a large 
number had collected in the town On September 3, while he 
was holding a meeting of the Magistrates, the dead body of a 
ikh was brought in This spread panic m the town and there 
were a few stabbing cases A cotton ginning factory was looted 
y the Muslim employees The West Punjab Government were 
anxious to drive out all non-Muslims and more particularly the 
Sikhs On September 5 the Governor, Sir Francis Mudie, had 
yWv\tten to Mr Jmnah “ I am telling everyone that I do not care 
f’ow’^'Sikhs get across the border the great thmg is to get rid 
°f as soon as possible There is still little sign of the three 
lakh « : h s m Lyallpur moving, but m the end they too will have 
to go On September 6, Sir Francis Mudie came to Lyallpur 
and tgfci the Deputy Commissioner that all Sikhs should be moved 
to th« refugee camp as a preliminary step to their bemg evacuated 
to Injtia ,This direction appears to have given a lead to the local 
Mus/ims and tension m the town increased The first major inci- 
dent occurred on the morning of October 1 A large non-Muslim 
foot convoy from Sargodha was passing through Lyallpur and, 
wljien a part of it had crossed the railway level crossing, near 
Tarkabad, the gates of the crossing were closed A mob of 
rmed Muslims then fell upon the portion of the convoy left 


* Sec Notes to Chapter III in Appendix I 


12 


170 


Stern Reckoning 


behind and began a ruthless massacre. Pandemonium broke out. 
Screaming women and children began to run hither and thither 
and the Baluch military escort opened fire upon them. The 
property loaded in bullock-carts was looted and as the assault 
continued through the day the ground was strewn with dead 
bodies. The Deputy Commissioner recalled the Baluch military 
m charge of the convoy and deputed a police guard m its place. 
Soon afterwards a contingent of Gurkha military arrived and led 
the convoy to safety The same nig ht an attack was made on the 
refugee camp m Khalsa College where many of the non Muslims 
who had survived the assault on the foot convoy bad taken 
shelter The Muslim military in charge of the camp took part 
in the killing and looting A large number of non Muslims lost 


their lives and many young girls were earned away Men and 
women were searched for valuables on their persons. The nest 
night the Arya School Refugee Camp was attacked m a similar 
manner The Baluch soldiers m charge of this camp had been 
molesting the inmates for many days. They had frequently 
searched them for cash and valuables. They used to carry away 
women at night and rape them. The attack on the night of 
October 2 however resulted m a veritable holocaust The camp 
was attacked from several sides simultaneously and the Muslim 
military opened fire on the inmates. All the property in the camp 
was looted. It is impossible to make an exact estimate of the 
loss of life occasioned as it is said that large numbers of dead 
bodies were corned away m military trucks during the night and 


thrown in the nver Chcnab When the Deputy Commissi 
amved in the morning he found a hundred and Ilf y dead pJodxa 
still lying m the camp. The general opinion however J that 
more than two thousand persons in the camp were killeLj The 
Deputy Commissioner replaced the Baluch military by ^ police 
guard This attack was carefully planned and the Agen t of the 
Imperial Bank heard his police guard talking boastfully ^ ^ the 
morning that the school camp would be attacked in the c\ 

He did not, however attach any importance to this talk. othcS^-^ 
the tragedy might possibly have been averted. ^ 

A canal bridge at Saloonijhal in Tchsil Samundrl was Y, ^ 
scene of persistent attacks on non Muslim convoys passing 
it Scarcely a single foot convoy was allowed to pass withoU^ 
senous mishap. On September 1 1 a convoy from Samundn wS u 
attacked and sixty persons were killed The next day a convoyk 
from kamalia was similarly set upon and nine persons were killed. \ 



fhc Punjab 


171 


Foot caravans from Toba lek Singh, Chah No 44, Chak No. 46, 
Chak No 531, Chak No 91 a caravan from Jodha Nagari, 
another one from Chak No 293 /J B, a convoy of lorries from 
Chak No 203 /G B and another convoy from Chak No 360 were 
attacked at dilferent times In every case the refugees were looted 
and their girls were carried away 

The residents of village Tiba Dhak Salha were told on August 
23, that their safety lay in departure The local Zatldar offered to 
help them in going away to a place of safety The non-Muslims 
accordingly collected their more precious belongings and left the 
village, in a procession, on August 24 They passed Tandhanwala 
and crossed the river Ravi by boat, intending to go to Okara 
Across the river some Muslims met them and told them to return 
to their village as it was unsafe to go further The refugees spent 
the night on the bank of the river The next morning the Sub- 
Inspector and the Zaildar, however, assured them that it was 
inadvisable to return and the more prudent course lay m 
proceeding on their journey They gave them an escort of Muslim 
villagers Near village Burj Jnva Khan some Muslim soldiers 
opened fire on the convoy The non-Muslims ran back towards 
the river The soldiers were joined by a large Muslim mob, 
armed with deadly weapons, and an attack was launched on the 
refugees The stragglers were cut down or shot Those who 
reached the riverside safely spent the night in anxious dread, as 
no boats were available The next morning the sound of drums 
was heard and, soon after, the Muslims opened a fresh assault 
Many jumped into the river and were drowned One woman 
strapped her three children to her waist and entered the nver, the 
two younger children were drowned Almost the entire convoy 
was decimated within a few hours The Muslims carried away 
many young girls and the property of the caravan One young 
girl was taken by the ruffians to village Burj Jiwa Khan On the 
way she saw dead bodies lying everywhere m the fields, on the 
roads and in the canal rumors She was kept at Burj Jiwa Khan 
for four days in the house of a Muslim At night she succeeded 
in escapmg but was overtaken and beaten She jumped mto a 
, canal minor and her pursuers, believing her to be drowned, went 
away She says, “I swam for a mile or so and then, getting out, 
went to a village near the canal bank An old Muslim took pity 
on me and bandaged my bleedmg wounds The next day he asked 
me to leave the village Eleven days later I found myself m my 
own village, Tiba Dhak Salha I cannot explam how God helped 



172 


Stern Reckoning 


me to reach my village.” A few other survivors also reached their 
native village in this manner and were finally evacuated to India.* 
A convoy of three trucks carrying passengers from Lyallpur 
on August 25 was stopped near Sharakpur and attacked. The 
passengers were made to pay a heavy ransom for their safety and 
were then allowed to proceed on their way Another truck which 
left Lyallpur on September 27 with twenty five passengers, was 
also stopped near Sharakpur The Muslim driver picked up two 
Patfian passenger and then drove on A little further he left the 
road which had been breached by recent floods and drove the 
truck through some fields. A mob of armed Muslims attacked the 
truck and killed some of the passengers. All the property in the 
truck was looted and some of the girls were taken away to 
Sharakpur They were kept m a bouse where a number of 
kidnapped women were already present Some of the women were 
later rescued and escorted to India, A convoy of four lorries 
proceeding to Lahore on October 24 was attacked and looted m 
a similar manner The truck containing women was subjected to a 
thorough search and some of the women were stripped naked to 
see if they had any valuables on their persons. Some young girls 
were raped by the roadside. The passengers were then asked to 
get down and the trucks were driven back to Lyallpur The nest 
morning a military truck containing some Gurkhas arrived and 
escorted them to Lahore. 

Shahpur District 

Shah pur is another colony district though the colonists are 
drawn not from Central Punjab but from the north western 
districts and are, for the most part, Muslim. The non Muslim 
population of the district was not more than 15 per cent There 
was a sprinkling of Sikh villages but the majority of the 
non Muslims were concentrated in the towns and the depots for 
agricultural produce. Sargodha, Bbera, Khushab Loon Miani and 
Bhajronwal were places in which many well to-do and even 
wealthy non Muslims resided. The March riots affected only a 
few villages in the Shah pur District and were soon suppressed. 
In Sargodha, the headquarters of the district, there was peace 
almost throughout. There was however considerable tension 
owing to the happenings in the neighbourhood. A peculiar feature 


Fool eowtor* wm imclfd mu RULbiawU*. Ui tmt CtaX No- V 
Row tor* 1 — p I itt JU»Jo Kero o*l>tr pheu. 


The Punjab 


173 


of the district was that forcible conversions took place on a very 
large scale m the rural areas The Hindus found themselves 
greatly outnumbered and, when given the offer of conversion to 
Islam as the price of safety, had no other choice but to submit 
In some villages they were able to live in peace after their decision 
but, when they were evacuated to India under military escort, they 
had to leave behind all their belongings Another feature of the 
district was that in Sargodha a number of false cases were brought 
against rich and prominent non-Muslims alleging that they owed 
money to Muslims Warrants were issued for their arrest and, in 
some cases, the victims were taken into custody They dould only 
leave Sargodha on payment of heavy ransoms Ornaments pawned 
with non-Muslim sahukars were returned without the debts bemg 
discharged In many villages the non-Muslims were not attacked 
and were told to quit and make room for the Muslims They were 
not allowed to take any property with them In some of the 
western villages Pathans looted non-Muslim property Camps 
were set up near Sargodha and Phulerwan and the conditions m 
these camps were far from satisfactory Foodstuffs were not 
available and at Phulerwan the general complamt was that owing 
to curfew orders non-Muslims could not even go out to ease 
themselves although Muslims moved about freely Except m a 
few places the killing of non-Muslims was not on a large scale, 
and the loss of life was not so heavy as m some other districts 
The loss of property, however, was considerable 

In Bhaironwal, a Muslim mob attacked the village towards 
the end of August The non -Muslims abandoned their houses and 
shop§ and took shelter in a Gurdwara The shops and houses 
were looted and a mass massacre of the non-Muslims in the 
Gurdwara followed The survivors were forcibly converted to 
Islam and were made to eat beef The dead bodies were thrown 
in the river Chenab near by Mitha Tiwana was attacked on 
August 19, and the attack contmued for four days The Batra 
family, who owned several thousand acres of land and possessed 
eight licensed guns, defended their mohalla by mounting guard 
on the roof of their house They were, however, deprived of their 
guns, taken into custody and charged with the offence of attempted 
murder This was due to the fact that shots fired by them m 
self-defence had injured two men In Khushab there was some 
trouble in the month of March and the Mahant of the Bairagi 
shnne was murdered In August the non-Muslim shops were 



174 


Stem Reckoning 


looted and many of them were ejected from their bouses Eight 
non Muslims left BhaJwal on August 17 with the intention of 
going to Sargodha. They were attacked and murdered at the 
railway station by Muslim League National Guards. The residents 
of Khwaja Ahmad were converted to Islam and robbed of their 
belongings. They were taken to the Jumma Mosque in Sargodha 
from where they were rescued by the Gurkha military In Mandi 
Waichhan a number of non Muslims refused conversion. They 
were promptly murdered Their dead bodies wert then taken to a 
Hindu temple and burnt About sixty residents of Raipur left 
their village with their valuables but they were stopped on the way 
by the police who searched them and deprived them of their 
valuables. They proceeded further and were persuaded to return 
home by two local Muslim Zemindars who gave them assurances 
of safety On the way back they were attacked by a Muslim mob 
who killed several of them and abducted a number of young girls. 
The residents of Chak Ramdas were saved by the timely arrival 
of a European military officer when a Muslim mob was preparing 
to attack them The massacre of Loon Miaru and the event* of 
Bhera can best be described in the word* of two witnesses extracts 
from whose statements are given below These statement! were 
chosen because the deponents are simple unsophisticated persons 
who have given a fair and unadorned account of what occurred 
and have not hesitated to mention facts in favour of the Muslim 
officials 

Statement of Lakhmi Das a labourer of Loon Miam 

“Malakwal a town near my town was reported to have been 
attacked in the beginning of September and we were feeling 
nervous The Sub-Inspector of Police who was a Mohammedan 
and had conic recently from Khushab or Nowihera assured u* 
that as long as be was there wc would suffer no danger or loss. 
He had taken the place of a Sikh Sub-Inspector of Police. We 
the non Muslims of Miam felt satisfied by the assurances given 
by tbe Muslim Sub-Inspector There were three attempts on 
Miam by Muslim goondas of adjoining village* in the first week 
of September 1947 but the Sub-Inspector beat off these attacks 
and arrested some of the goondas of the assaulting party Tbe 
arrested persons were made to sit the whole day at the police 
itation and then released in the evening The non Muslims of 
Miam thought that the Sub-Irtspe^or was a strong man and would 
really safeguard thpir interests and protect them. On September 9 



file Punjab 


175 


however, drums continued beating the whole night We felt 
afraid but the Sub-Inspector told us that there was nothing to 
fear, the military had arrived and he had police arrangements 
also and so no harm would come to us He had also told 
previously that he was arranging for our evacuation 

“ On one side we were hearing drums being beaten and were 
feeling nervous On the other hand, there was an assurance by 
the Sub-Inspector and by the local Muslims who had behaved 
well so far Nothing happened that night but on September 10, 
at about 12 noon, there was a sudden attack on Miani First, we 
heard shots being fired and we thought that the military were 
firing at the mob But, after a little time, we were astomshed to 
find that the mob of Muslim goondas and dacoits, armed with all 
sorts of weapons, aided by the police constables, a head constable 
and an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police who had a cut on his 
upper lip, and Baluch military, had attacked and were shootmg 
the Hindus indiscriminately The head constable and the Assistant 
Sub-Inspector were proclaiming that even a suckling baby would 
not be spared The firing continued till 4pm and the non-Muslims 
were threatened with death if they did not give up their cash and 
valuables, but, when they handed over their valuables, they were 
mercilessly beaten, assaulted and murdered Some babies were 
even cut into pieces People were thrown from the house-tops 
like balls Young girls were abducted Their number was about 
sixty My daughter-m-law was killed A granddaughter of mine 
was also killed I and my son Knshan Lai were seriously mjured 
and left as dead In my vicinity about two hundred persons lay 
dead or mjured In all about nme hundred persons died and four 
hundred were wounded Some of the mob were killing and 
inflicting injuries, some were lootmg and some were engaged m 
breaking open locks and doors When I saw that the dacoits had 
left, I got up and cried for water Someone replied that he was 
coming and shortly afterwards the head constable, Qureshi, and 
a constable, accompanied by some military men, came and told 
us that the survivors should come out and that we would be 
taken to the camp m the house of Jawala Sahai Chadda We 
went there and water was supplied to us by one of the constables 
Later Qureshi head constable told us that curfew had been 
relaxed and that we could go home and bring our belongings and 
luggage I brought a bedding first and left it in the camp Then 
I went agam and brought a small trunk and a small beddmg 



176 


Stem Reckoning 


containing some children s clothes and a quilt- Thu latter load 
was snatched away by the said Qurcshi on the way 

“The Sub-Inspector was not seen the whole day The 
Assistant Sub-Inspector asked the able-bodied among us to 
remove the corpses and we accordingly collected about four 
hundred by the evening and burnt them- Meanwhile Hindu 
military accompanied by some Muslim soldiers reached the camp 
and gave first aid to the injured. The remaining five hundred 
bodies were collected the next morning and burnt with wood 
and kerosene oil We were then transferred to Pbulerwan Hospital 
and from there I. my son and about a hundred others were trans- 
ferred to the Sargodha Hospital From Sargodha we have come 
to the Amritsar Refugee Camp ” 

The second statement was given by Shnmatl Ram Plan, a red 
dent of Bhcra 

On August 20 1947 a Muslim mob armed with chhavis 
kidhans etc. numbering about four or five hundred entered 
our street. With the mob were members of the National Guards 
and the local police. They openly and loudly said that wo should 
vacate the house* and run away otherwise we would be lolled, 
and that everything lying in our house* belonged to Pakistan. 
Eight persons in Bhandawah Galli were killed and four or five 
others were wounded. The Muslims tried to break open our 
doors and when they could not do so they abused us. They said 
that they would kidnap our young girls and marry them to 
Muslims. The sweepers were forbidden to clean our streets 
and remove the night-soil from our houses. On August 22, we 
left our houses and reached the railway station. We had to 
leave all our luggage at home. There was no tram that day and 
on August 24 we again went to the railway station The lorry 
driver who was a Muslim charged us five rupee* per passenger 
upto the railway station. The National Guards and the police 
charged us four rupee* each railway fare for Mandi Baha ud Dm, 
although the real fare is only ten annas Only some of us could 
go on the 24th and the rest, including myself went on the 25th. 
During the night the Sikh officer and his non Muslim subordi 
nates who formed our escort, undertook to protect us. They 
remained awake the whole night On the way the tram was 
stopped as the trunk of a huge tree lay across the line. A Muslim 
mob attacked us with guns, hatchets etc. shouting “ Allah-o- 
Akt>w " The non Muslim escort defended us and killed many 



The Punjab 


177 


Muslims The tram reached Mandi Baha-ud-Din at 1-30 pm 
It was very hot and we asked for water There was none avail- 
able as the water taps at the station had been closed Even our 
babies were not given water and the Muslims said that they were 
ready to supply us with their urine A child m our compart 
ment died of thirst We were taken to a camp one and a half 
miles from the railway station and here, too, we found that the 
water taps had been removed We arranged to get water from the 
wells by lettmg down vessels tied to bed-sheets strung together 
In the camp the rations were not free and we could only buy three 
chhattaks every other day The non-Muslims m Mandi Baha-ud- 
Din sometimes sold us atta at four seers per rupee but the pohce 
removed these non-Muslims and brought them to the camp 
Their stocks were left behind and taken possession of by the 
Muslims Cholera spread and, as the result of it, many non- 
Muslims died As the Muslim National Guards, the local pohce 
and the Muslim military had taken possession of all the fuel 
wood in the Mandi, the non-Muslims m the camp used to hght 
fire for cremating the dead bodies by chopping up their boxes 
This, ‘however, was not enough and, frequently, dead bodies 
remained uncremated On September 27 and 28, thirty-two 
trucks sent by the Indian Union arnved but the Muslim military 
permitted only those persons to go m the trucks who paid heavy 
bnbes I was allowed to sit m a truck at the request of a 
Subedar 

“ On September 10, sixty non-Muslims died after taking milk 
It was said that the milk was poisoned ” 

Jhang District 

Mass massacres of Hindus and Sikhs and wholesale plunder 
of non-Muslim property m the towns of Jhang-Magiana, Masan, 
Shorkot and Chmiot were the salient features of the events m 
Jhang District Similar tragedies on a smaller scale, though not 
less gruesome in then: intensity or in the suffering occasioned to 
the individual victims, took place m almost all the villages m the 
rural areas A study of all the availabe evidence, consisting of 
the statements of hundreds of refugees from the district, leaves 
no doubt whatever that these results were achieved by the 
vitriolic utterances of Pir Mubarak Ah Shah, the local Mushm 
League member of the Provmcial Legislative Assembly, and the 
assistance given to him and to his goonda followers by Mr 
Zaffar-ul-Haq Khan, District Magistrate, Mr Mohammad Akbar, 



178 Stem Reckoning 

Additional District Magistrate and Mr Hasnat Ahmad City 
Magistrate. 

In the month of March the post of the Deputy Commissioner 
was held by a Sikh officer and the peace of the district remained 
undisturbed. The Superintendent of Police was a British officer 
and his attitude towards the minorities was sympathetic^ and pro- 
tective In August Mr Zaffar ul Haq Khan assumed charge as 
District Magistrate and Mr Hasnat Ahmad was appointed Cit> 
Magistrate. Signs of unrest were observed soon after August 15 
and Muslims took out processions through the streets of Jhang 
in defiance of prohibitory orders under section 144 Criminal Pro* 
cedure Code The processionists openly asked the Hindus to 
leave the town. When an appeal was made to Mr Hasnat Ahmad 
ho merely retorted that his own bouse in Amritsar had been burnt 
by the Sikhs, and he made no secret of his resentment against 
the non Muslims. His attitude could not but encourage the 
gangster element in the town Fir Mubarak All Shah went to 
Karachi m the middle of August to attend a conference of the 
Muslim League. He returned to Jhang on the 21st and soon 
afterwards Muslim hostility became more open and more intense. 
On August 24 Mr Ryan the Superintendent of Police went to 
Lahore to consult the Deputy Inspector-General of Police. It was 
Mid that his departure from the district was due to a cunning 
move on the part of the District Magistrate and Pit Mubarak All 
Shah who wanted to have him out of the way in order to carry 
out their plans successfully The events which followed support 
this hypothesis On the morning of August 25 trouble began in 
the city of Jhang Maghiana Two persons were stabbed near the 
Canal O/fice and one in front of the Sessions House The news 
of these assaults spread through the town like wild fire and while 
the non Mutisms took shelter nr their houses, the Muslim hooll 
gans became openly rowdy and ran about assaulting unwary 
non Muslims and setting fire to their houses and shops. By the 
afternoon the whole of the town was affected and large fires were 
seen b azing in different quarters. The wife of the Hindu Station 
Mastc came to the city with her clothes soaked in blood and cry 
uig that her husband and son had been brutally stabbed at the 
railway station The following night was comparatively quiet 
but, on the morning of August 26 utter lawlessness broke out. 
and the Muslim mobs began to attack Hindus and Sikhs with 
redoubled fury The military and the police patrolled the aty in 
a leisurely fashion as if nothing serious were happening and 



The Punjab 


179 


looked on calmly while murder and arson were committed under 
their very eyes In some cases they even gave open support to 
the hooligans by shooting at the Hindus and looting their pro- 
perty Some soldiers handed over their guns to the Muslim 
marauders Pir Mubarak Ah Shah was seen firing from a 303 
rifle and leading the mobs Houses and shops m Sultanwala, 
Budhewala, Hasnana, Dhupsan and Railway Bazaar were looted 
Dozens of houses were burnt and destroyed This state of affairs 
continued throughout the day on the 26th and the following night 
It is estimated that nearly two thousand non-Muslims perished in 
this brutal attack , about four hundred girls were carried away 
and some who were later recovered were found to have been 
raped m a most horrible and inhuman manner On the mommg 
of August 27, when the fury of the marauders had abated some- 
what, the non-Muslims came out of their houses and, taking their 
cash and valuables, formed a procession with .the intention of 
going to the bungalow of the District Magistrate and appealing to 
him for help On the way they were stopped by a military and 
police picket who ordered them to leave their property behind 
Complaints made to the Additional District Magistrate and the 
City Magistrate were of no avail The processiomsts were forced 
to comply with the orders of the police and continued their 
journey without their belongmgs The District Magistrate told 
them to go to a refugee camp which had been set up in the school 
premises 

The District Magistrate had, on August 25, passed two 
orders One of these prohibited the departure of any lorry with- 
out the specific permission of the District Magistrate and the 
other placed a ban on the removal of all property A copy of 
this latter order was sent to the President, Town Committee, 
Lalian, and this copy was brought out by one of the refugees 
Its text is given below — 

s 

“ ORDER 

\ 

I, Zaffar-ul-Haq Khan, District Magistrate, Jhang, do hereby 
order that none leaving the Jhang District, shall export any 
goods of any description whatsoever, except the necessary 
wearing apparel, and the beddmg enjoined by weather 

Any contravention of this order is a penal offence under the 
Public Safety Act 



180 


Stem Reckoning 


T O Jhang will please contact the Police and make necessary 
arrangements that the contents of this order are faithfully 
carried out 
25/* August 1947 

(Sd.) Zaffar ul Haq Khan. 

District Magistrate Jhang 

District Magistrates Office Jhang 
No 6012 dated 25-8-1947 

Copy forwarded to the President, Town Committee Laban, 
for wide publicity by beat of drum. 

(Sd.) 

For District Magistrate Jhang 
25 8-1947 ” 

Tbu order was strictly enforced throughout the district and it* 
terms were invoked to deprive the residents of Maghiana of all 
their valuable before they left the district. Some of their property 
was taken away even before they arrived in the refugee camp. 

Conditions in the refugee camp can best be described by quot 
ing the words of a local medical practitioner who lived in the camp. 

w In tbo refugee camp I was placed in charge of the sick and 
the injured by the leaders of refugees. I had no medicines or 
instruments with me to perform operations and to dress the woundj 
of the injured. We wrote to the authorities to let us have medicine* 
and surgical instruments from our own dimes but the Government 
took no action. Therefore without the help of any instruments, 
we had to perform major operations with second hand shaving 
blades which also were available with considerable difficulty Wc 
were lucky to get some bone acid and a very small quantity of 
potasaum permanganate from some shops in the Mandi and we were 
com pc led to use ordinary oil which was unstenlized and unmcdi 
cated for dressing wounds. 

In place of gauze we used rags from tailors shops. There 
were no bandages and wc had to leave the wounds uncovered. 
Cotton too was not available. Most of the injured had bullet 
wounds and we had to cut their flesh with blades and extract the 
bullets with our fingers. Some of the bullets were very big in size 
and were fired from 303 nfies. I took out bullets from the bodies 
of over a hundred person*. A large number of the injured had 
grievous wounds inflicted by spears and other sharp-edged 
weapons, and almost all injured persons had miUiple Injuries on 



I he Punjab 


181 


their bodies 1 came across the case of a go dsrmth’s wife 
belonging to village Sagla, at that time residing in Mohalla Sultan- 
wala, who said that her infant daughter of about six months was 
rent into pieces by her thighs being pulled apart, and her son was 
stabbed to death by Wall Mohammad, Municipal Commissioner 
of Jhang 

“ Apart from the injured from Jhang-Maghiana town, over 
five hundred persons, seriously wounded, were brought to the 
refugee camp from adjoining villages One of the cases that I 
treated was of a woman from village Chund Bharwana who was the 
wife of a railway porter One of her hands was chopped off above 
the wrist and then she was thrown into the fire as the result 
of which her lower portion got burnt But she escaped from 
there and was then thrown into a well with her two daughters 
and one son She was taken out of the well later on and brought 
to the refugee camp Her children died in the well but one of 
her daughters survived and she had a deep cut from the temple 
to the cheek cutting the bone also Her eldest daughter aged 18 
had been abducted earlier 

“The chief types of injuries inflicted on the wounded were 
(1) amputation of limbs, hands and forearms, (2) skull and temple 
injuries, (3) stab wounds penetratmg the abdomen and chest, (4) 
bullet and gunshot wounds, (5) amputation of breasts of women 
(six such cases of chopped off breasts were brought to the refugee 
camp and all of them proved fatal), (6) circumcision wounds 
performed on the male organs of many young men and old men, 
(7) cut throat cases and (8) burns 

“ In the refugee camp at Jhang, due to insanitary conditions, 
and, due to total lack of any facilities for sanitation on behalf of 
the authorities and lack of proper diet, many diseases sprang up 
amongst the refugees and it became a gigantic problem for us 
doctors Besides this, one of our big problems was the handling 
of maternity cases On an average six to seven births were daily 
taking place m our camp Quite a large number of deliveries was 
premature, due to the pamc and excitement and the discomforts 
to which the mothers were not accustomed There was no place 
to confine these unfortunate women and deliveries had to take 
place in the open and in the presence of men and women We did 
not even have the elementary things for use on such occasions and 
our requests to the authorities to supply them were turned down. 
They had no clothes to change and no soap to wash and clean the 



182 


Stem Reckoning 


clothes they were wearing, at the time of delivery A very poignant 
case was that of a women who was forced to wa,k three miles from 
Jhang city to the Mandi along with other refugees. She had 
hardly covered one mflo when she gave birth to a child by the 
roadside Many maternity cases became septic.” 

Food and water m the refugee camps were scarce. Fortunately 
the residents of LyaUpur came to the rescue of the refugees in the 
Jhang Camp and began to send them a lorry load of chappattis 
and other foodstuffs every day There were no latrines in the 
refugee camp. The inmates had to defecate in buckets and then 
carry the buckets out themselves. 

Dhupsan and Hasnana are two suburbs of Jhang Maghiana 
and there, too disturbances broke out on August 25 Tho residents 
of Dhupsan saw the city of Maghiana ablaze on tho evening of 
August 25 and collected m the house of one Panju Ram. A 
Muslim mob attacked the suburb and many houses were set on 
fire Sixty persons are said to have lost their lives in the course 
of this assault and thirty young girls were kidnapped. In Hasnana 
the entire inmates of one house were butchered and the City 
Magistrate was shown a heap of thirty corpses lying in the house. 
Some residents took shelter in the house of Amir Lambardar who 
had promised to protect the non Muslims. This house was attacked 
by a Muslim mob and the owner was compelled to ask his neigh 
hours to leave the house. Almost all of them were murdered by 
the Muslims. 

Jhang City which is situated at a distance of a mile and 
a half from Jhang Maghiana did not suffer to the same extent 
The total loss of life m the city is said to have been not more than 
thirty or forty The entire property of the non Muslims was, 
however looted after they had left for the refugee camp. Tho 
property of the residents of MohaDa Gulabwala was earned away 
on trucks camels and donkeys. 

At Shorkot the sound of drums was heard on the evening 
of August 19 and a rumour was spread through the town that a 
mob of Sikhs was preparing to attack tho Muslims. Thu rumour 
was wholly baseless and it transpired that the drum beating was 
mereiy intended to collect the Muslims by way of a rehearsal of 
tho major attack which took place on August 26 On the morning 
of that day it was found that all the Muslim houses were displaying 
Muslim League flogs to distinguish them from the non Muslim 
houses. In the course of the assault which took place during tho 



The Punjab 


183 


day one hundred and fifty non-Muslims lost their lives and two 
hundred more were injured Muslim military on arriving joined the 
mob and shot at the non-Muslims The town was then pillaged 
by the Muslim police, military and Muslim National Guards 

together with the Muslim mob Masan, a village eight miles 
from Jhang, was attacked on August 26 The vi lage was sur- 
rounded on all sides by a Muslim mob and the Hindus took shelter 
in a Gurdwara near the police station The Zaildar of the ilaqa 
was a Hindu and he was done to death Two of his 

daughters were abducted Scarcely a handful of the non- 

Mushrn population of the village escaped this brutal massacre 
On August 22, a large mob of Mus'ims assisted by members 
of the National Guards, the police force and some Baluch 
soldiers, surrounded Chimot A sadhu, sitting m his hut, 
was murdered and his dead body was thrown into a well 

Two young boys were stabbed and thrown on a mound near by 
The next day Muslim National Guards were seen spraying kero- 
sene oil with stirrup-pumps on Hindu houses and shops The 
houses were then set on fire The disturbances continued on the 
following day The Deputy Superintendent of Police, who was 
in Chimot, when appealed to, demanded a sum of three thousand 
rupees for stopping the massacre The money was paid but the 
police remained inactive In the course of three days four 
hundred persons lost their lives in Chimot The survivors took 
shelter in the premises of the local school They loaded their 
goods on some trucks but the trucks were driven away to the 
police station and the property was shared among the police and 
the Muslim mob Some of the residents had concealed their 
valuables and they were asked to give details of their whereabouts 
The valuables were most probably removed by the police as the 
owners were never able to recover them In the refugee camp no 
fuel for crematmg the dead was available and the doors, windows 
and benches of the school were used to make up funeral pyres 
A Muslim mob attacked village Chela on August 28 Some of 
the non-Muslims found shelter in the house of a sympathetic 
Muslim resident His house was surrounded and he was 
threatened with death unless he ejected all those who had come 
under his protection When the non-Muslims came out they were 
attacked and forty of them were killed Some young girls were 
kidnapped About one hundred and fifty non-Muslims were 
forcibly converted to Islam These were subsequently evacuated 
by Hindu mili tary on September 4 An armed mob assisted by 



184 


Stem Reckoning 


Muslim police and Muslim National Guard* attacked Lallan on 
the night between August 27 and August 28 The house* of non 
Muslims were looted for two days A contingent of Hindu soldier* 
arrived on the third day and remained stationed at T ultnn till 
September 25 when they were replaced by a Muslim military 
guard. On October 13 the non Muslim* were again attacked 
when they were in a refugee camp and seven persons were blkcL 
Ten girl* were -.kidnapped The villages of Rajana, Ubhana and 
Chai No 232 were similarly attacked resulting m the loss of 
several non Muslim lives In Chak No 232 the non Muslims 
were converted to Islam and made to eat beef They were then 
set upon and several of them were done to death. 

Multan District 

The March riots had resulted m a decisive victory for the 
Muslim League gangsters and, a* August 15 approached, the 
non Muslim residents of the towns and villages in the di*tnct 
began to get apprehensive of what lay in store for them m the 
future State of Pakistan. Some of them began to leave their 
native towns and habitations but difficulties of transport, risks of 
train and road journeys and the desire to cling to one s property 
to the last prevented a large scale exodus. The non Muslim* were 
m a small minority in the district, and in the rural areas parti 
cularly they found themselves isolated and at the mercy of their 
Muslim neighbours. The advent of Pakistan took them at a 
disadvantage if not unaware*. 

Looting and burning of villages commenced towards the end 
of August and continued throughout the month of September In 
some of the outyrng villages the non Muslim* were compelled to 
accept Islam a* they realized that unless they adopted this course, 
they would be immediately done to death. In these viLage* kas 
of life was negligible and the convened persona were in due course 
escorted to safety by the Military Evacuation Organization * There 
was, however wholesale looting and the non Muslim* lost all their 
property During September group* of non Muslim* travelling by 
road were attacked in almost all parts of the district There were 
altogether no less than twenty-eight distinct attacks resulting in 
considerab'e loss of life. There were five attacks on trams. The 
recorded evidence shows a hundred and five different attack* on 

Wboiuak cxxttotJo* took pac» la ifca HUM : — Budra. Butm. TpaM. 1 

fad Qo ter Oak No. *2. Clra No. 119 Uq*2u1-0»-BjU. CkU PljOwtU. Ck*i 
Uokamlr. Oak a Lb** W»U. Dm MoQl Fud. OcbbwiU. Ofaioor Hr*** Lot 
Uuoti d JUk*. KkOJ rnlinl. KkiUnn J KkOJ Pxaata. tbrnpur Bud MIlM. 
N*«rb*» Bud liiMu. tunu ud Bud Ad Kku. 



I he Punjab 


185 


villages In a large number of these there was considerable loss of 
life and in e\ery case looting and burning of non-Muslim property 
were witnessed The massacre of Rampur and Jalalpur Pirwala in 
Tchsil Shujabad was perhaps one of the worst incidents m the 
district 

In Multan a large crowd of about four thousand non-Muslims 
went to the Cantonment Railway Station, intending to take an east- 
bound train The authorities in charge of evacuation, however, 
allowed on'y a few Government officials to enter the platform 
The rest of the crowd waited outside hopefully In the meantime 
a large mob of Muslims began to collect and, soon after the tram 
had left, the non-Muslims were attacked Members of the Mushm 
League National Guards took part m the attack Fifteen non- 
Muslims were killed and twenty-five injured Ten young girls 
were kidnapped Fortunately a contingent of Mahratta military 
arrived and saved the situation Conditions in the city deteriorated 
and utter lawlessness prevailed Non-Muslims, venturing out of 
their houses to visit a bank, or on their way to the railway station or 
the aerodrome, were attacked and looted Many persons lost 
their lives m this manner Groups of Mushm hooligans would 
brmg hand-carts or bullock-carts to the doors of Hmdu and Sikh 
houses and calmly remove all the property, whether the residents 
were at home or not The police did not choose to interfere 
Some non-Muslims tried to sell then: furniture and other movables 
for a pittance and, for some days, radio sets, bicycles and gramo- 
phones were sold for a few rupees each Then information was 
sent to the city that the Hindus would be leaving their property 
behmd in any case and it was unwise and unnecessary for the Mus- 
lims to pay money for it Hmdu and Sikh officials were refused 
their salary for the month of August as the Accountant-General of 
West Punjab had sent out instructions that no salary should be 
paid to officials who were not expected to remam m Pakistan The 
Police officers were all disarmed and even the licenced weapons 
privately owned by them were taken away They were then turned 
out of their barracks and their rations were stopped It was with 
the greatest difficulty that the Deputy Superintendent of Police 
allowed them to stay in the Gurdwara and the Police Lines One 
of the constables who was dark complexioned and, m appearance, 
somewhat like a Mushm, grew a short beard and wore a Jinnah 
cap , and, thus disguised, he went out to get rations for his 
colleagues, confined in the Gurdwara and the Police Lmes On 
13 



186 


Stem Reckoning 


September 17 a number of Muslim Police officials from East Pun 
armed in Multan and launched an attack on the Hindu and 
Sikh Police officials. Many of them were injured and deprived of 
their belongings. The timely arrival of the Deputy Superintendent 
of Po ice prevented loss of life on this occasion but a little later 
two Silhs were murdered and a Hindu Prosecuting Sub-Inspector 
who rushed to their help was given a severe beating. 

An Army officer posted at Shujabad m the beginning of 
August made a tour of the neighbouring villages. He described 
what he saw as follows 

“ On September 3 1947 I was proceeding to Chadhar and 
Kbojan and the surrounding villages on patrol duty with foijr 
Sikh and one Dogra sepoys We had one Bren gun one tommy 
gun, one pistol and three .303 rifles one box of hand-grenades and 
one thousand 303 bullets. When we reached Chadhar we saw a 
big blaze of fire in the direction of Rampur I ordered the driver 
to take our jeep to that side. When we reached near Rampur 
we saw a very big Muslim mob of about six or seven thousand 
persons armed with rifles and sharp-edged weapons with an 
Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police and many police constables all 
armed. The village was burning. Wo took our stand at a distance 
of about five hundred yards from the village and began firing on 
the Muslim mob The hooligans ran. Some men in the mob tried 
to surround us but persistent firing kept them at a distance. Many 
men in the mob were killed Wc saw heaps of dead bodies in 
the village some burnt some half burnt some killed by shots 
and some stabbed to death There was a smell of flesh and blood 
burning and we felt choked. In my estimate the number of dead 
bodies might have been nearly two thousand The non Muslim* 
of the neighbouring village* had come to Rampur believing it to 
be more safe a* the Hindu landlords of that place had licensed 
arms with them I saw the Assistant Sub-Inspector of Pohoc In 
possession of the guns of the Hindus. I could find only eleven 
persons alive in the village. They had concealed themselves In 
strange places. Of them I found two women concealed between 
the wall and the iron safe of their house. 

The Assistant Sub-Inspector of Karor Pucca visited village 
Khaji Wala on the rooming of August 25 and witnessed a horriblo 
spectacle. Over a hundred non Muslim men women and children 
had been tied together and placed on a heap of burning straw As 
the flames killed them slowly they wnthed and groaned in a most 



fhe Punjab 


187 


dreadful manner In the neighbouring villages much murder 
and looting had taken place Every time non-Muslims went to 
the Shujabad Railway Station to board a train, they were searched 
and deprixed of all then belongings The first tram left on August 
25, and the search was carried out thoroughly and ruthlessly 
The passengers were not allowed to take anything with them The 
second train left on September 14 On this occasion the pas- 
sengers were allowed to take away a few clothes and one hght 
bedding each The third train left on September 25, and on this 
occasion the search was somewhat relaxed This tram was attacked 
at Pakpattan and thoroughly looted On October 11, the non- 
Muslims were ordered to leave their houses in Shujabad within 
two hours and go to the refugee camp which consisted of a plot of 
open ground flooded with water After some time the refugees were 
removed to a number of houses on the outskirts of the town. They 
were continuously harassed by the Baluch military and there were 
many reports of women having been taken away and raped by the 
soldiers 

The Naib Tehsildar of Shujabad was a witness of the happen- 
ings in Khan Bela His story is given m his own words 

“ On September 3, news was received m Shujabad that 
Ghazipur, a village about seven miles from Jalalpur Pirwala, was 
burnt down and pillaged by the Muslims on the previous night 
and over a hundred persons had been murdered m cold blood 
Many of the residents were terrified into accepting Islam Quite 
a number of young women were abducted On the afternoon of 
September 3, some people of Jalalpur Pirwala informed me that 
that village stood m great danger of being burn! and looted I 
thought it was no use going to the Tehsildar who was a Muslim 
and" was well known for his communal tendencies I, therefore, 
went to the Officer Commanding of the Military Umt stationed m 
Shujabad He needed a good deal of persuading to send some 
of his men to Jalalpur Pirwala but finally agreed to do so I 
accompanied the Officer Commanding 

“ We left Shujabad at about 9 p m m a jeep On the way 
we met another jeep coming from Ghazipur and the Officer Com- 
manding directed this jeep also to follow us We reached Jalalpur 
Pirwala shortly after 10 The people were awake and shaking 
with terror We made a round of the town and told the people 
to be on their guard At the police station the Sub-Inspector 
informed me that he had received a report about a huge mob 


188 


Stem Reckoning 


having gathered at Khan Bela in the evening- Khan Bela is 
seven miles to the west of Jalalpur Pmvala and had a population 
of about 2.500 persona I asked the Sub-Inspector if be would 
accompany us there but be refused to do so. I was of the opinion 
that we should go to Khan Bela, About two miles from Jalalpur 
Pmvala the road was under water and our jeeps could not go across. 
We left the jeeps with two soldiers to keep a watch on them and 
went forward on foot We could see the holocaust from quite 
a long distance and hear the report of gunfire. As we drew 
near we could see that the whole village was ablaze and we could 
hear the groans of the injured persons. We passed g la no which 
was full of smoke. Brickbats began to be thrown at us from house- 
tops and suddenly someone began to fire at us. We withdrew and 
went to another part of the village where wo saw people coming 
out after committing loot murder and arson. Most of them were 
carrying looted property and some of them were dragging non 
Muslim women. We opened fire at than and most of them ran 
away Some fell down dead as the result of our firing In an 
hour's time the village was almost clear of them- I saw that over 
one hundred Hindus were lying dead in the village and enquiries 
showed that about fifty young women had been kidnapped.” 

The Officer Commanding went back to Jalalpur Pmvala and 
saw that in his absence, the village had been subjected to a 
brutal and determined attack by a huge Muslim mob. Over a 
thousand persons had been butchered. Many residents committed 
suicide. The whole village was thea ransacked. The Officer 
Commanding on seeing this wreckage sent a wireless message to 
Multan asking for more troops but the reply received by him 
was that be should not expose his men to unnecessary risk. The 
ZaDdar of the ilaqa led out a number of non Muslims, on the 
following day promising to escort them to Shujabad, On the way 
the caravan was attacked and most of the men were killed and the 
young women abducted Some men from Jalalpur Pirwala left 
in two trucks after having bn bed the Sub-Inspector of Police 
heavily The trucks were attacked on the way and almost all the 
male passengers were killed. All the young girls were kidnapped. 

Village Bud he was attacked towards the end of August and 
almost the enure population was wiped out In Chak No. 16/ 10R 
the non Muslims tned to defend themselves and two of them who 
had licensed arms, returned the fire of Muslim raiders but the 
villagers were heavily outnumbered and it is said that nearly 



The Punjab 


189 


a thousand of them were killed and many of their young girls 
were carried away Mian Channu was attacked on August 20 A 
foot caravan of non-Muslims from the neighbouring villages com- 
ing to Mian Channu was stopped and accused of planning to attack 
the Muslims The non-Muslims were deprived of their weapons 
and their goods A mob of Muslims then attacked these poor 
refugees and killed many of them A convoy of seventeen trucks 
left Mian Channu on September 15 One of the trucks had engine 
trouble on the way and had to stop A Muslim mob suddenly 
appeared from nowhere and attacked the passengers Six girls 
were carried away and the remaining non-Muslims were all 
murdered The Sikhs of village Belewala sought shelter in the 
house of a local Muslim Pir While they were on their way 
some of their young girls were kidnapped After they had entered 
the house, the doors were sprayed with kerosene oil and set 
ablaze When the Sikhs ran out they were set upon by their 
Muslim neighbours and mercilessly butchered Village Makh- 
dumpur Pahoran, the camp at Talamba and the Hindu residents 
in Hamand Cantal Rest House were attacked by Muslim mobs in 
the end of August 

As an instance of the conditions of tram travel in these days 
we may quote from the statement of an Advocate of Multan who 
left Mailsi on October 7 

“ Our train (consisting of open roofless trucks) with about 
three thousand and five hundred refugees started at noon 
from Mailsi under a Mahratta military escort headed by 

Subedar , a very sympathetic and dutiful young military 

officer, on October 7 After Kutubpur Station a mob consisting 
of more than fifteen hundred armed Muslims came out from be- 
hind some sand-hills The railway Ime was blocked with stones 
and logs of wood Our tram, therefore, stopped The mob fired 
at the tram The Subedar and the members of the escort got down 
from the tram and returned the fire Three or four persons from 
among the mob were killed, while as many more were injured 
The Subedar brought back a rifle and a helmet which belonged 
to the leader of the mob The raiders then fled away and the 
tram started once agam The tram stopped at Khanewal Junction 
at sunset There was no engine to continue the journey and we 
spent the mght at Khanewal We were told at night that a Magis- 
trate had come and recorded the statements of the Subedar and 
the engme driver We left in the morning and reached Harappa 



190 


Stem Reckoning 


at 9 a m. but wo were not allowed to proceed further as orders to 
detain us bad been issued by the District Magistrate of M u l t a n or 
Montgomery At 5 pan- the Commissioner Multan, the Dejxity 
Commissioner Montgomery two big military officers three or four 
police officials and some sixty or seventy Muslim soldiers arrived. 
The Commissioner and others interrogated the Subedar at length 
and he had to repeat his story several times. Wo learnt that the 
leader of the mob who had been killed by our military escort was 
a Sub-Divisional Officer of Canals posted there and that he was 
a very near relation of tho Prime Munster of Pakistan. For this 
reason all the big local officers were afraid of his participation in 
the assault becoming known m India. After the interrogation was 
over our tram was taken back to Mian Channu and stopped at a 
distance of half a mile from the railway station. Next day at 
noon an armed mob of Muslims appeared. There was an exchange 
of shots between the mob and our military escort The Muslim 
soldiers from Mian Channu now appeared on the scene and 
persuaded the mob to go back. After some time our Mahratta 
Subedar was called asido by a Muslim military officer who came 
from Mian Channu. After this interview the Subedar came to us 
and told us with tears m his eyes that the position had become 
serious and there was no other alternative for us but to leave the 
tram within fifteen minutes and take with us only so much luggage 
as we could carry on our heads. The confusion that followed 
after hearing thu sudden announcement can better be Imagined 
than described, Wc had to leave most of our luggage in the train. 
The armed mob of Muslims a gam approached near us. We were 
placed in a garden covering two qillas of land at a distance of ono 
and a half miles from the train. It was within thu small space that 
wc had to cremate some twenty refugees who had died of storvauon 

“ As soon as wo left the tram the Muslim mob dis- 
persed and the train was taken possession of by the Muslim 
military Not a single article was removed by any member 
of the mob Wc came to know later that all our luggage from tho 
train was taken to the malUuma and converted into Pakistan Gov 
emment property Wc were kept almost locked up In that garden 
for five days. No Pakistan official ever enquired whether w-e bad 
an> thing to cat and bow wc managed to subsist They gave us no 
provisions. Some of the local refugees shared their scanty pro- 
visions with us. 



The Punjab 


191 


“ On the sixth day we were taken back to the same goods train 
which was now m charge of a Gurkha military escort We finally 
reached Attan on October 15 ” 

This is a case in which the refugees travelled m comparative 
comfort and safety There was only one attack and this was 
repu’sed successfully The hardship that the passengers, however, 
suffered entailed the loss of several lives on the way There was 
no food and many died of starvation They had to remain for 
many days in the open, by day and by night, and exposure took a 
toll of nearly twenty-five persons It was learnt later that the 
Mahratta Subedar was accused of killing the Sub-Divisional 
Officer by shooting at hint from the running train while the Sub- 
Divisional Officer was performing his duties on the canal bank 

Muzaffargarh District 

Muzaffargarh District is bounded on the north by the district 
of Mianwali and on the west by the river Indus The river 
Chenab runs a'ong the greater part of its eastern boundary 
Muslims comprised 86 42 per cent of its total population before 
partition Not many Sikhs lived m the district , their number was 
probably not much more than six thousand in all, 1 ' and they 
lived mostly in the rural areas concentrated in a handful of bastis 
surrounded by predommantly Mushm villages When disturbances 
began in the month of September they found it difficult either to 
defend themselves or to escape to places of comparative safety As 
they formed a special target of the fanatical attack on the minorities 
many of them perished , the rest were forcibly converted to Islam 
These last were eventually evacuated under police or military escort 
Mass conversion of Hindus and Sikhs was a special feature of the 
Muzaffargarh District and there were many villages in which the 
entue non-Muslim population was compelled to embrace Islam, 
under threat of annihilation In these villages the loss of life was 
inconsiderable,! though conversion did not prevent their entue 
property from being looted and then young women from bemg 
kidnapped and subjected to the barbarous lust of the marauders 
Here, as elsewhere, there were numerous cases of neighbourly 
kmdness and protection offered by local Muslims and the Muslim 


* At the census of 1941 the figure was 5 882 

t Wholesale conversion took place in the villages of Serwala Warra Sera Sohal 
Ratta Ram Dogar Kalasra Subanl Wastl, Pakki Labhana Makhan Bela Tarpur Sahhanl 
Bastl Qazl (seven non Muslims who were unwilling were murdered) Tlbbi Nizam Usman 
Kuria and Mariwala 



192 


Stem Reckoning 


police officers- Only rarely however did these efforts succeed in 
evading or counteracting the hideous forces of murder and rapine. 
In a few instances the kidnapped girls were restored to their re- 
lations after they had agreed to accept Islam. The evacuation of 
these converted persons presented serious difficulties to our Liaison 
Agency and the Military Organization in charge of evacuation as 
they were stranded m small and all but inaccessible pockets. Some 
times their very existence was not known as they had moved from 
their last habitation. The available evidence regarding their where- 
abouts was meagre and a diligent search had to be made m very 
difficult conditions. 

At the time of partition Raja Sultan Lai Hussain was the 
Deputy Commissioner and during his tenure of office the district 
remained peaceful. He left on August 20 and soon afterwards 
disturbances began and spread to all parts of the district The 
first recorded incident is an attack on a Sikh passenger on August 
20 at the Sana wan Railway Station. The victim escaped and 
sought refuge m a Hindu temple. He was pursued by a mob of 
Muslims who demanded that bo should be handed over to them. 
They threatened to destroy the whole city if the man were not 
given up. They succeeded in capturing the Sikh and murdering 
him A fortnight later the railway station was attacked again and 
two Hindu railway officials were murdered. There were simul 
taneous attacks on a number of other railway stations on the sob 
tary line which runs through this district At Do rata a Sikh Station 
Master and se\en members of his family were murdered. At 
Jaman Shah a Hindu Station Master was murdered and his two 
daughters were kidnapped. At Karor twenty-one non Muslim 
railway employees including the Assistant Station Master were 
murdered Two girls were abducted. At Dera Dinpanah a Hindu 
porter was murdered. The daughter of the Station Master of 
Gunnani was kidnapped. These attacks struck terror in the hearts 
of the non Muslim railway employees. The murders at the rail 
way stations were followed by attacks on the villages. A largo 
mob of two thousand Muslims surrounded village Sana wan and 
murdered a large number of non Muslims. The women of tho 
village had been placed in a separate house which was attacked 
by a mob of Muslims. About ten old women were murdered and 
then all the ornaments and valuables were plundered Fifteen 
>oung girls were earned away The Sub-Inspector of Police took 
the non Muslims to the railway station and helped in evacuating 



193 


The Punjab 

them to Muzaffargarh A member of the West Punjab Legislative 
Assembly and a Muslim Recruiting Officer were observed en- 
couraging and helping the Muslim mob 

At Karor a most horrible massacre of non-Muslims was 
enacted Karor is a small town situated in the extreme north 
of the district There were a police station, a High School, Civil 
and Veterinary Hospitals in the town and a large number of 
non-Muslims resided there With the outbreak of disturbances 
the non-Muslims of the neighbouring villages arrived in Karor 
and, in the beginning of September, nearly ten thousand Hmdus 
and Sikhs had congregated in the town On September 3, a Hindu 
while crossing a stream was murdered The same night the rail- 
way station was attacked During the day$ that followed, the 
town was subjected to several attacks A Hindu, writing on Sep- 
tember 5, said that dogs and vultures were eating the corpses of 
non-Muslims lying in the streets of Karor The neighbouring vil- 
lages suffered heavy losses in life and property Almost all the 
villages in the neighbourhood of Karor and Leiah were attacked 
on September 4 and 5 The simultaneity of the attack indicated 
a pre-conceived plan On September 7 a large Muslim mob 
attacked Dedhe Lai, a small village near Rohillanwah, in the 
southern part of the district The non-Muslims abandoned their 
houses and took shelter in the house of Chaudhry Lila Kishen 
The Muslims began to loot the houses and shops and the pillage 
contmued through the night The next morning the village Lam 
bardar took the non-Muslims to his house and sent a messenger 
to Muzaffargarh for military aid In the afternoon ten Baluch 
soldiers arrived in the village and asked the Lambardar to tnrn 
the non-Muslims out The soldiers wanted the women to be 
placed in a separate house but, on bemg paid a bribe of two 
hundred rupees, agreed to let them stay with the men Dui mg the 
night some young women were raped by the Baluch soldiers On 
September 9, the non-Muslims were asked to embrace Islam While 
these negotiations were proceeding, a local Pleader brought a truck 
to the village and, m this truck, twenty non-Muslims were carried 
to Muzaffargarh The remaining non-Muslims took shelter in a 
room but the local Muslims assisted by the Baluch soldiers made 
a hole m the roof of the kotha and, pouring kerosene oil inside, 
set fire to it. Sixty-five persons are said to have been burnt in this 
kotha The Sub-Inspector of Kmjar told the local non-Muslims, 
on September 5, that he could not guarantee their safety He, 
however, asked the Muslim Zemindars to try and protect their 



194 


Stem Reckoning 


oo-villagcrs The village was attacked early on the morning of 
September 7 The Sufaidposh and the ZnilHnr who had given 
assurances of safety to the non Muslims were seen to be taking 
part in the assault The mob entered the village shooting 44 Pakis 
tan 7indabaif and Jinnah Zindabad ” They broke open the 
locks of houses and shops and began to loot them. About two 
hundred shops and houses were set fire to and any non Muslims 
found m the streets were set upon and murdered. The Sub 
Inspector of Police sat in the rural dispensary gossippmg with the 
doctor He was either complctey indifferent to what was going 
on m the village or what is more probable quite powerless to 
stop it Later when the fury of the mob had somewhat abated 
the Sub Inspector took the non Muslims to the police station and 
kept them there for a week Rations were extremely meagre and 
attempts to carry provisions to the police station were foiled by 
the Zafldar and the local Muslims On September 15 a number 
of lames were hired and the non Muslims were evacuated. The 
village however was reduced to a ruin. Chaudhri Lai Cband, a 
resident of Kama] Kurar. a village five miles from Km jar was 
robbed of his cash and ornaments while he was proceeding to 
Kinjar on September 5 He reported the matter to the Sub- 
Inspector at Kinjar who paid a visit to his village but was unable 
to trace the culprits When Lai Chand went to Kinjar on Sep- 
tember 7 with a list of the stolen property he found the village in 
flames. He went back to Kama! Kurai and found it surrounded 
by a Muslim mob The Hindu residents collected at the house of 
Chaudhri Asu Ram and handed over the keys of their houses and 
shops to the Muslims who immediately began to loot them. All 
the cattle owned by the non Muslims were driven out and some 
of the houses were burnt down The next morning the a tt ac k 
was renewed and the non Muslims were asked to embrace Islam. 
Some of them agreed and publicly took off their sacred thread*. 
Those who hesitated or did not agree were set upon and mur 
dcred The converted persons were taken to a Muslim bouse in a 
neighbouring village and some of the girls who had been kid 
napped were restored to them. These unfortunate persons were 
rescued about three weeks later by the military 

The Sikh Bastu Kothiwala, Shihnwala, Kartarpur and 
Basantpura were attacked on September 6 and 7 The majority 
of the residents perished and the rest were forcibly converted to 
Islam. Those who tried to escape were waylaid and done to 
death. Many girls were earned awny by the marauders. The 



The Punjab 


195 


total loss of life in these four Bastis was several hundred The 
Muslims of village Chandian were divided m their attitude towards 
the non-Muslims Some of them were of the opinion that if the 
non-Muslims were willing to accept Islam they should not be 
molested while others thought that immediate death was the only 
suitable end for all non-Muslims Sardar Khan Chandian, who 
was the leader of the first party, took the non-Muslims to a 
mosque and converted them to Islam They were all made to 
remove their sacred threads and chotis and recite the Kalina 
They spent a night in the mosque and, m the morning, ate beef 
which was given to them The second party of Muslims was, 
howevei, not satisfied and launched an attack on the mosque 
Over a hundred persons were done to death and a number of 
young girls were kidnapped Their houses were then looted 
Sardar Khan took the survivors to his Chak and finally helped m 
evacuating them to Muzaffargarh The residents of Basti Miran- 
pur were saved through the good offices of the local Muslims who 
converted them to Islam and finally helped to send them to Kinjar 
from where they were evacuated In villages Serin Dewan Wall 
and Gujrat a wholesale murder of non-Muslims took place In 
village Gangian the non-Muslims accepted the offer of conversion 
but many of them were nevertheless done to death The Sikh 
residents of village Mangal Singh were attacked on September 9 
and many of them were burnt alive in a house where they had 
taken shelter Others who tried to rush out were slaughtered and 
a large heap of dead bodies was seen lying in the village 

A large number of non-Muslims ran to Muzaffargarh from 
the neighbouring villages and sought shelter m the refugee camp 
near the railway station Muzaffargarh itself did not witness 
disturbances on a large scale but there were many cases of murder 
and loot Exit from Muzaffargarh was made difficult because the 
bridge over the Chenab, connectmg the districts of Muzaffargarh 
and Multan, was contmuously watched by Muslim mobs who 
attacked and murdered anyone trying to cross it This bridge was 
seen to be strewn with dead bodies All the roads leading from 
Muzaffargarh were infested by murderous gangs of Muslims and 
it was not till the end of September, when a large-scale evacua- 
tion with the help of the Military Evacuation Organization began, 
that the non-Muslims m the district were able to escape to safety 
The refugees from Dera Ghazi Khan had to pass through 
Muzaffargarh and this added to the numbers m the refugee camps 
and to the problems of providing food for them On September 12, 



196 


Stern Reckoning 


the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Multan Range came 
to the district and was instrumental in checking the disturbances 
Non Muslims from different villages were brought to the nearest 
TchstI headquarters and placed In nineteen different camps. The 
number of camps was gradually reduced and evacuation by rail 
way began on October 23 Indian military arrived on October 
25 and this further helped to restore confidence. 

Rawalpindi District 

Rawalpindi was a predominantly Muslim district The census 
returns of 1941 recorded a population of 7 85 lakhs of whom 6.28 
lakhs representing 80 per cent of the total were Muslims. Sikhs 
in appreciable numbers resided both in the town of Rawalpindi 
and in the rural areas They occupied a not on important position 
in the civic life of the district, as some of them were very wealthy 
and owned large properties in the urban areas of Rawalpindi and 
Murree and also in the villages. The people of the district 
are robust in physique and warlike in spirit and provide 
good material for Army recruitment Every village counted 
among its residents a few Army pensioners who owned fi rearms 
and knew how to use them effectively There are few roads and 
some of the outlying villages are difficult of access The extent 
and intensity of the March nots had driven out almost the entire 
non Muslim population from the rural areas. The August nots 
were therefore confined for the most part to Rawalpindi proper 
and Chaklala a military base four miles away 

The headquarters of the Northern Command were situated in 
Rawalpindi and a large Army force was stationed in the Canton 
menu The presence of so many troops should have ensured the 
safety of the town but, after the March happenings the non 
Muslims lost all confidence in the ability or at gny rate, the 
impartiality of the Army personnel in affording protection to them. 

The August trouble at Rawalpindi began with the arrival of 
some Muslim refugees from East Punjab The Deputy Comnus 
sioncr Mr Anwar ul Haq made a gallant attempt to control the 
situation but he received no assistance from his subordinates or 
the police Indeed their attitude and conduct were calculated to 
revive and exacerbate the hostilities between the communities. 
Added to this was the factor that many of the culprits responsible 
for committing offences, during the March nots were released on 
bail This circumstance was utilized by the Muslim League agi 
tutors to their benefit for they were able to say that with the 



The Putfjub 


197 


establishment of Pakistan, they had been able to redeem the 
pledges given to these criminals and any future acts of a similar 
nature committed by them would be condoned by the authorities 
These hooligans, therefore, thought that they were free to murder 
and loot the minorities in the district 

On the morning of August 15, a number of non-Muslims 
were stabbed On the following day Kartarpura Mohalla was 
attacked by armed Muslims and completely plundered Many of 
the non-Mushm residents were killed On August 17, the Khalsa 
High School and the Khalsa College suffered the same fate The 
Id festival was celebrated on August 18, and, after the morning 
prayers, Muslims ran about the city, in a fit of exultant frenzy, 
looting and burning non-Mushm property Hindus and Sikhs 
were freely attacked and beaten The Hindu Civil Surgeon, 
Mr Sondhi, was severely wounded and his car was damaged as 
he was on his way to the hospital to give medical aid to the not 
casualties A Hindu physician was shot dead in the street Mur- 
derous gangs lurked behmd every street corner and inside every 
mosque If a Hindu or a Sikh were seen approaching he was 
pounced upon and killed Mosques were used as arsenals and 
vantage points for attack The authorities raided a mosque in the 
city and found a large dump of firearms, hand-grenades and other 
lethal weapons Hindu and Sikh shrines were desecrated Riot- 
ing continued upto the end of September except for a few 
temporary lulls Mai Veero-ki-Baruu, Pul Shah Nazar, Nimak 
Mandi, Momanpura and Mohalla Talwaran were all looted On 
September 11, about two hundred non-Mushm subjects of Poonch 
State left Rawalpindi in eleven trucks under military escort They 
were first subjected to a thorough search at the railway 
station, under the supervision of an Anglo-Indian Magistrate, Mr 
Ross They were then stopped at the octroi post and another 
search which lasted several hours was carried out The trucks, 
finally left but, when they had travelled for about six miles, they 
were set upon by a mob of armed Muslims The military escort 
sat by the roadside and took no steps to defend the non-Muslims 
The last two trucks were able to turn round and return to Rawal- 
pindi but the remaining nine trucks were thoroughly looted and 
almost all the passengers were killed Many girls were 
kidnapped 

If a non-Mushm temporarily left his house he found, on his 
return, that it had been occupied by Muslim refugees with the 
help of National Guards In some cases non-Mushms were 



198 


Stem Reckoning 


forcibly ejected from their houses A prominent Advocate had 
to go to Delhi on business and before be left, the Deputy Com 
miisioner assured him that his house would be safe. At Delhi, 
however news was received by this Advocate that the Tehsildar 
and the Naib Tehsildar had gone to his house and taken posses- 
sion of it His motor car was also taken away Some luggage 
which be had packed up in crates was lost 

Non Muslims experienced great difficulty m travelling to 
India. Mr Ross was m charge of evacuation and ho exerted all 
his influence in harassing and vic timizin g the non Muslims, Not 
a single tram left Rawalpindi for India between September I and 
October 18 except Military Specials m which crvil refugees could 
not ordinarily travel Mr Ross refused to arrange for transport 
on the ground that there was no reciprocal movement of rolling 
stock from India This was not true because at least two tram* 
carrying Muslim Refugees from East Punjab arrived in Rawal- 
pindi during this period.* A tram was announced to leave 
Chaklala Railway Station on September 18 Rolling stock and 
engines were available Tickets for the journey to India were 
issued to non Muslims but, when the intending travellers arrived 
at Chaklala they learnt that the tram had been cancelled. No 
reasons for this decision were assigned Arrangements were 
finally made for a train to leave on October 18 Large number* 
of passengers with their luggage arrived at Chaklala, They had 
to pay fifty rupees per package to the coolies, but their luggage 
was finally brought to the itahon platform. A Muslim Magis- 
trate accompanied by a number of police constable* now arrived 
and ordered all the non Muslim to leave the station premises. 
Some of them had to be driven out at the point of the bayonet 
After they had left, almost the entire luggage was looted by mem 
bers of the National Guards. When the tram arrived at 5 pm, the ) 
passengers had to get m without their luggage. t 

Gujar Khan was attacked by a Muslim mob towards the end 
of August A number of non Muslims were stabbed and several 
more injured. The non Muslims were forcibly ejected from their 
bouses and they were told that the goods in their ibops were 
Pakistan property The non Muslims then left the town 


RikUri Mrfcub Slack. icnlar Ad oan, un Hal he htancLI •*» the** tnJ*» Stttv* 
til kked lb* UuJ a K rfn i tc Camp. 

1 Many Ocuoimsl official* lock pan In lk« loot and reed td a ibaik d Urn s**- 
perry lb* tichc*. Action m Ulc* aaolnu cbcc try tha r*Uoa* GoicncacoC <W-*y 
rtttncnca »er and* ltd too* of lb* offldaW wer* actaaHy umpeaded. 



The Punjab 


m 


The evidence relating to disturbances in the rural areas 
during the months of August and September is somewhat meagre, 
partly because most of the non-Muslims had already .left after the 
March disturbances and partly because the few who were left 
did not survive to tell their story Chak Shahbad, a village about 
six miles from Rawalpindi, was attacked on the afternoon of 
August 28 All the non-Muslim houses were plundered, and 
about ten non-Muslims were killed The rest escaped to Rawal- 
pindi and were evacuated to India The villages of Chak 
Shadadpur, Hanaysar, Nara and Daultala were similarly attacked 

Jhehun District 

Jhelum was another predominantly Muslim District The 
total number of Hmdu and Sikh residents was only about sixty- 
five thousand or a little more than 10 per cent of the total popu- 
lation The inhabitants of the rural areas possessed a strong 
physique and the district shared with Rawalpindi the honour of 
providing an endless supply of Army recruits Large sums of 
money were poured into the district annually by way of military 
pensions, and the tiresome vocation of tilling the land was not the 
only means of livelihood open to the people Their moral fibre, 
however, was weak and they were prone to be swayed by base 
and selfish considerations It was not religious emotion or 
aggressive chauvimsm which prompted them to attack the Hmdu 
and Sikh minorities living in their midst, but the prospect of 
personal gam This was truer of the people of Jhelum than of, 
perhaps, any other district in the Punjab 

The March riots affected some of the rural areas and m Gah, 
a village m Tehsil Chakwal, a general massacre of non-Muslims 
took place m that month Eighty houses were burnt and thirty 
persons lost their lives m this fire Village Warwal was also 
attacked m a similar manner Nine persons were killed and many 
more injured At Hasal a large Muslim mob arrived and forced 
the non-Muslims to embrace Islam Those who refused were 
murdered The village was then looted A military picket was 
posted m the village and there was no further trouble until August 
Narang, Mangwal, Rasala, Sarkal, and Minwal were similarly 
attacked and the non-Muslims were forced to accept Islam 
Chakwal was subjected to several attacks but the local Muslims 
advised the raiders to go back On March 12, military was posted 
m the town and normal conditions returned 



200 


Stern Reckoning 


In the town of Jhc-um disturbances broke out during 
September The attack on the residents of Machine Mohalla was 
a particularly brutal one On September 25 a mob of armed 
Muslims carrying machine guns revolvers and other weapons 
atta ked the non Muslim houses. The victims had been warned of 
this attack and they entrenched themselves m five or six bouses 
in Mohalla Gobindpura the doors of which were barricaded. The 
attack lasted for several hours and some of the houses m the 
Mohalla were set Arc to A contingent of Muslim military arrived 
and asked the non Muslims to send their women and girls in trucks 
to a place of safety This direction was complied with. The 
women and girls were never heard of a gain Immediately after 
wards the non Muslim males were set upon and a general massacre 
followed. Hundreds of men were killed and their dead bodies were 
thrown in the /he him River ft is said that only about three 
hundred persona out of a total of two thousand non-Muilims 
living in this Mohalla survived. The houses were then looted and 
even the dead bodies were searched and robbed. The bungalow 
of Sardarai La-'hhmi of Wahali was attacked and she and her 
brother’s wife were brutally murdered by a Muslim mob. Their 
entire property was then looted. 

Mund a village six miles from Chakwal, was attacked on 
September 10 by a mob of several thousand Muslims. The bouses 
and shops of the non Muslims were ransacked, the Gurdwara was 
desecrated and the religious books were burnt To add to the 
sacrilege cows were butchered inside the Gurdwara Bhaun a 
village eight miles from Chakwal, was attacked on August 1 1 The 
raiders brought camels donkeys and bullock-carts with them and 
earned away large quantities of loot. The non Muslims were then 
told to leave their village if they valued their lives. Haranpur was 
attacked on August 13 and it is said that the Sub- Divisional 
Magistrate of Find Da dan Khan and a Sub-Inspector of Police 
came with the raiders and shared the loot The residents of 
Haranpur were later evacuated to the Pind Da dan Khan refugee 
camp under military escort On September 19 five thousand 
refugees from this camp boarded a train bound for Amritsar This 
tram was attacked several times on the way and the majority of 
the passengers were lolled. Many girls and young women were 
abducted Some residents of Balkassar tried to run away by steal 
ing out of the village at night They were attacked on the way 
and three of them were murdered. Some reached Chakwal and 



The Punjab 


201 


arranged to send military trucks to the village and this enabled the 
remaining non-Muslims to escape to safety Wahali was attacked 
on September 2, and the big haveli of Sardar Han Smgh was burnt 
down Forty non-Muslims are said to have been murdered In 
village Lehr Sultanpur, there was only one non-Muslim family 
When they were leaving the village they were attacked and looted 
In the beginning of October the Police Sub-Inspector of Dma 
ordered the non-Muslims to leave their village They were not 
allowed to take anything with them When the non-Muslims 
arrived in Mirpur they were attacked by a Muslim mob and many 
of them were killed The survivors escaped to Jammu and finally 
found their way to Amritsar In contrast to this, it is agreeable to 
record that in village Pahdn no incident took place and that the 
Muslims helped to evacuate the non-Muslims and carried their 
luggage on their own heads up to the place where lorries were 
available At Jhelum, however, the luggage was looted 

Attock District 

Attock, a small village on the banks of the Indus, is the last 
Punjab outpost on the Grand Trunk Road When the head- 
quarters of the district were set up at Campbellpur, Attock lost its 
civic importance and the village was almost completely deserted 
A garrison, posted in the fort, remained to watch the frontier of 
the province and guard the bridge which strides across the Indus 
as its torrent rushes through a narrow gorge flanked by rocky 
precipices The Grand Trunk Road wmds down to the bridge 
and crosses over into the territory of the North-West Frontier 
Province Long stretches of undulating sandy fields, dotted with 
small stone-built villages, alternate with wooded hilly tracts A 
number of streams which suddenly swell up during the monsoon 
rams to unfordable dimensions run through the district There 
are remams of several Moghul buildings including a Rest House 
situated amid the picturesque surroundings of the Wah springs and 
a Baradari at Attock The Sikh shnne of Panja Sahib at Hassan 
Abdal was visited by Sikh pilgrims from all parts of India 

The population of the district accordmg to the census of 1941, 
was 6 75 lakhs the vast majority of whom (6 11 lakhs comprising 
90 42 per cent) were Muslims In March 1947 several villages in 
the eastern part of the district were affected by the disturbances 
in the rural areas of Rawalpmdi District 

On March 9 a Muslim mob, shouting slogans and beating 
drums, entered village Jhan The non-Muslims ran to take shelter 
14 


o 



202 


Stern Reckoning 


m the Gurdwara but, when they found that they would bo over 
powered, they escaped from the back, door and ran out into the 
jungle. The next morning they came back, on learning that the 
mob had left That afternoon the Zaddar asked all non Muslims 
to embrace Islam. The barbers were called and the hair of the Sikhs 
was removed. The next morning the newly converted people were 
asked to eat beef and give their daughters m marriage to the Mus- 
lims. The Gurdwara Granthi argued that the Quran did not make 
these things compulsory for Muslims. On this the converts were 
attacked and more than a hundred of them were done to death. 
Logs of wood were thrown mto the pit of a well under construction 
and a huge fire was lit. A number of women were thrown into 
thu pit and burnt alive several young girls were kidnapped 
children were impaled on spears and displayed m the village In 
village Parial the Sub-Inspector of Police asked the Sikhs to 
become Muslims rf they wanted to live in safety Master Thakar 
Singh. President of the Gurdwara Panchayat, refused The next 
day a Muslim mob attacked the village Master Thakar Singh 
was captured and murdered. His dead body was taken to the 
Gurdwara on spears and the Sikhs in the Gurdwara were told that 
unless they embraced Islam they would meet the same fate. The 
SDchs appeared to show some reluctance and the Gurdwara was set 
on Are. Over a hundred persons were burnt alive or murdered by 
the Muslim mob In village Mithial, a number of persons were 
murdered and ten children were burnt alive. In Rajar a mass 
massacre of Sikhs, involving the death of one hundred and fifty 
persons took place. In Dhen thirteen persons were murdered 
and two burnt alive because they refused to embrace Islam. The 
remaining non Muslims were then converted. Mass conversions 
took place in Chak Belikhan Gbela Kalan, Mial, Dhalwali, Mohra 
Sihal Sanghral Saroha etc. 

A Muslim mob attacked village Basal on March 11 killing 
four Hindus and injuring fifteen A number of Hindu house* and 
shops were looted. The neighbouring village of Kisran waj 
similarly attacked and several persons were murdered. Basal was 
attacked a second tune on March 13 and in the course of this 
attack twenty seven Hindus lost their lives. Altogether seventy 
two villages m the distnct*were attacked during the March riots. 
A camp was set up near the Basal Railway Station and the 
non Muslims of the neighbouring villages sought shelter there. 
When the Rawalpindi trouble subsided most of the refugees 


The Punjab 


203 


returned home but some whose confidence was completely shaken 
stayed on m the camp When attacks by Muslim mobs began, m 
August, the Hindus once again hurried to find safety m the Basal 
Camp They were subsequently removed to the larger camp 
at Wall 

Campbellpur, Talagang, and Fatehjang where the Hindus 
lived in appreciable numbers were all attacked It must be recorded 
that the Gurdwara of Panja Sahib was not attacked as it remained 
well guarded throughout There were few Hindus left m the rural 
areas and the evidence discloses only thirty-one cases of attacks on 
villages The number of road incidents recorded is eight while 
two trains weie attacked 

Talagang was attacked on the morning of September 18, by a 
mob of five thousand Muslims A number of women and girls who 
had gone out into the fields to answer the call of nature were kid- 
napped The raiders surrounded the village and exchanged shots with 
the non-Muslim residents The siege lasted two days and when 
the ammunition of the defenders was exhausted the ‘Muslims 
attacked the town and began to slaughter the non-Muslims and 
loot their houses and shops It is estimated that about three hund- 
red and fifty Hmdus were done to death and many more injured 
Some were forcibly converted to Islam Several young girls were 
kidnapped Two days later, the Baluch military arrived and the 
survivors were taken to a camp set up m the local school A 
fortnight later, they were escorted to the Wah Camp by lorry and 
tram , but, before leaving, they were deprived of their money and 
valuables The tram was attacked on the way, near Golra Railway 
Station, by a mob of Muslims who had concealed themselves m 
bajra fields Eleven of the Hindu passengers were wounded but 
the tram was safely brought to Wah 

Some non-Muslim residents of Lava left the village on 
September 3 The remaining two hundred or two hundred and fifty 
could not make any transport arrangements and had to stay 
behind On September 5, a Muslim mob attacked the village killin g 
a number of persons and forcibly converting others The entire 
village was then looted 

On August 30, a convoy of non-Muslims, passmg through 
Fatehjang, was attacked Twenty Hindus were killed and fifteen 
wounded Koti Gul was attacked on September 5 Two Hmdus 
were killed and seven injured , the rest of the non-Muslims were 



204 


Stem Reckoning 


forcibly converted to Is. am. The Hindu shops were looted- About 
one thousand non Muslims lived m Tamma n. On August 15 a 
crowd of Muslims attacked some Hindu houses on the western side 
of the village and looted them. Twelve Hindus wore lolled, Tho 
Zaildar then proclaimed that Hindus had no right to live in 
Pakistan and should prepare themselves to leave the village. A 
crowd of Pathans from Mian wail arrived and deman ded a share 
of the loot from the local Muslims. A clash ensued and the Hindus, 
seeing a chance of escape ran from the village. They were pur 
sued by the pobcc who had taken a prominent part in planning 
the attack and were deprived of whatever valuables they had. 
They eventually reached Talagang from where they were taken to 
Wah, A band of Baluch soldiers m plam clothes raided the bar 
racks occupied by Hindu employees of the M.E.S. on September 29 
Eleven Hindus, s eeping in the verandah, were dragged to an 
adjoining field and assaulted. The hands of a Gurkha were first 
chopped off and then he was killed. Only one out of these eleven 
escaped the dead bodies of the remaining ten were seen lymg 
in tho fields tho next day All the non Muslims of tho town were 
then collected and taken to a Gurdwara where a camp had been 
set up. No provision* were supplied to tho refugee* and tho only 
food they had was some bag* of parched gram lying in the Gurd 
warn. After a fortnight, the refugees were asked to get ready 
to go to the railway station where a tram bound for India was 
waiting for them. No conveyance for luggage waj provided and 
the refugees were not allowed to carry anything except small pack 
ages. A convoy of lomes carrying non Muslims of Campbell pur 
to Wah, on September 29 was attacked by a Muslim mob two 
miles from Campbellpur The military escort took no steps to 
ward off this attack. It is said that some shots were fired by tho 
European Officer in charge of the escort but the Muslim soldiers 
remained passive spectators of the assault More than two 
hundred non Muslims are said to have lost their lives In this 
incident 

Attacks were also made on road convoys proceeding 
from Khaur Pindi Ghcb Fatehjang and Pind SultanL 
Mlamvali District 

The Mian wah District is a boot shaped area with a long 
and narrow strip of land lying along the Indus River It was a 
predominantly Muslim district and tho Muslims numbered 86 16 
per cent of the total population. On March 11a crowd of several 



The Punjab 


205 


thousand Muslims from the neighbouring villages arrived at Mian- 
wah with the intention of plundering the town The Deputy 
Commissioner, however, succeeded m persuading this mob to go 
away On the way back, they killed a few non-Muslims but there 
was no serious trouble in the district until September In the 
month of August, a number of trains were stopped and searched 
and there were a few stray stabbing cases A more serious inci- 
dent was the murder of Captain Grewal, a Sikh officer, at the 
Paikhel Railway Station on August 26 The happenings in the 
neighbouring districts had spread panic in Mianwali and, on 
August 30, the Deputy Commissioner announced his plan of 
evacuating the non-Muslims from the district He appointed differ- 
ent dates for different villages This announcement appeared to 
encourage the Muslims to lawlessness as they thought that the 
departmg Hindus and Sikhs were entirely at their mercy There 
is some indication of a pre-conceived plan to launch an attack 
throughout the district On September 2, nearly twenty villages 
were attacked by Muslim mobs and, on September 3, the trouble 
spread to many more A mounted messenger brought the news 
of an attack on Wan Bachran, and, when military aid was sent, the 
Muslim hooligans ran into the neighbouring village of Shadia and 
killed a number of Hindus They were pursued to Shadia and 
trouble broke out afresh at Wan Bachran 

On September 3, two houses m village Alluhwah were 
attacked The residents were asked to pay a large sum of money 
and, when they refused, were shot down Their houses were then 
looted On September 6, the Hindus left their houses and collected 
at the house of one Jamna Das m the hope of being able to defend 
themselves better from one place The Muslims looted the houses 
thus vacated The next morning the Mianwali tram brought a 
number of Muslim hooligans who joined the local Muslims and 
attacked some Hindus who had taken shelter m a serai near the 
railway station, killing twenty-five of them and plundering all their 
goods The survivors agreed to accept Islam and were escorted 
to the mosque of Ramzan Aram A barber was summoned and 
he began to shave the non-Muslim heads m order to make them 
conform to Muslim appearance The Assistant Sub-Inspector of 
Police, however, did not trust the new converts, and, at his insti- 
gation, several of them were killed as they came out of the mosque 
A tram carrying refugees arrived at this juncture and the mili tary 
escort rescued the few Hindu survivors 



206 


Stem Reckoning 


On September 3 Behl was attacked. The main bazaar was 
looted and burnt down and then a general massacre of the non 
Muslims began. This continued throughout the night and the 
Muslim soldiers posted in the village took part m the looting and 
killing Over a hundred girls were kidnapped. In the morning the 
dead bodies, some half burnt and others mutilated, were thrown 
into a well and the survivors were asked to embrace Islam. Many 
of the converts were later killed. One of the kidnapped girls, 
relating her experience said that she had been raped m a most 
inhuman manner and passed on from man to man till she com 
pletely lost all sense of feeling 

Kundian was attacked, on September 4 by a huge mob of 
Muslims led by the Zaildar and the local Lambardars. The Head 
master of the school and members of the National Guards were 
seen helping and encouraging the hooligans. A number of bouses 
were set on fire and over a hundred non Muslims were killed. At 
Piplan the non Muslims were escorted to the railway station for 
the ostensible purpose of being taken to Mi an wall. They hope- 
fully crowded into three bogies sanding at the platform but the 
engine steamed away leaving the bogies behind and the intend 
ing travellers were set upon by a Muslim mob and slaughtered Kke 
sheep A train carrying non-Muslim refugees from Man Indus 
and the neighbouring villages was attacked at Daud Khcl on 
September 12 and looted. The military escort merely fired a few 
shots in the air 

September 6 was the appointed dato for the evacuation of 
village Harnoli That day a Muslim mob collected and launched 
an attack on the non Muslims at 2 30 p.m. The Hindus defended 
themselves from previously prepared more has and shot some of 
the raiders. News of this was earned to Mian wall and the Deputy 
Commissioner was informed that tl>c Hindus had perpetrated 
homble atrocities on the Muslims and had burnt tbo mosque. A 
contingent of Baluch military and a number of tanks were sent 
to restore peace in Hamoh. The Hindu residents of Mian wall 
saw these tanks pass and shuddered at the fate which awaited 
their co- religionists. The military threw a nng round the village 
and attacked the Hindu strongholds. The mo Mr were blown up 
and the town was sacked The streets were littered with dead 
bodies and some of the Baluch soldiers indulged in the most 
inhuman barbarities. Men were hung upon trees and shot 



The Punjab 


207 


Little mtants were dashed to the ground or had their limbs torn 
Young girls were raped in a horrible manner and then slaughtered 
Bhakkar was attacked three times On September 3, a Mus- 
lim mob surrounded the town and set fire to a number of houses 
About ten non-Muslims were killed The Sub-Divisional Officer 
had recently come from Gurdaspur and, when an appeal for help 
was made to him, he mere'y replied that he had seen hornble 
things done to his Muslim brethren in East Punjab The Inspector 
of Police said that he had lost everythmg in East Punjab and that 
he was not sorry to see the Hindus of Bhakkar suffering The 
arrival of the military, however, prevented further mischief A 
second attack was made on September 10 On this occasion also a 
few houses were burnt and a few non-Muslims were killed 
Gurkha soldiers were at the time posted in the town and they 
immediately restored peace A few days later, Muslim military 
replaced the Gurkhas and conditions m the town changed There 
were reports of young women and girls being raped by the Muslim 
soldiers On October 8, the Muslim military were to leave and, 
on that day, a determined and large-scale attack was made on 
the people of Bhakkar The Muslim military were seen helping 
the hooligans, and looting continued the whole day There was 
considerable loss of life and property Many houses were set on 
fire and over three hundred persons were killed 

At Darya Khan, a Muslim mob attacked the town on Octo- 
ber 2 The non-Muslims were placed m a house, on the upper 
storey of which Muslim soldiers mounted guard Durmg the mght 
the house was attacked by a Muslim mob and several hundred 
persons were killed The military guard merely fired shots in the 
air Some of them even shot at the people under their protection 
There was large-scale killing and lootmg at Hassan Shah 

In Mianwah there was peace until the end of September The 
Deputy Commissioner had, however, passed an order, on Septem- 
ber 15, that all non-Muslims must surrender their arms The 
matter was represented to the Governor when, he visited the town, 
a few days later, but the non-Muslims continued to remain with- 
out any means of defending themselves against a possible attack 
Many non-Muslims moved into a camp set up near the Deputy 
Commissioner’s house This camp was attacked on the evening 
of September 28 The town was attacked the same mght and the 
attack continued for three or four days The shops in the bazaar 
were broken open and set on fire Within a short time the whole 
town seemed to be ablaze An eye-witness said ‘ I, along with 



208 


Stem Reckoning 


my family members and with about two hundred other non 
Muslims, was taking shelter in a deserted house. The Muslim 
mob surrounded us and gave us an ultimatum that either we should 
embrace Islam or wc would be put to death and our womenfolk 
would be earned away to the villages All of us agreed to embrace 
Islam. In spite of our declaration wo were all dragged out and 
our womenfolk were molested and disgraced m our presence. 
They were searched and stripped of their last jewellery 
and many of them were beaten. On coming out wo saw that a 
big Muslim mob along with military was standing there and 
women and virgin girls were being loaded forcibly in military 
trucks. The whole town wore a ghastly appearance and the 
streets were full of heaps of dead. We had to walk on dead 
bodies as wc went to the mosque. In our presence many young 
children were dashed against walls. Suckling babies were 
snatched from the arms of their mothers and tom into bits. 
Goorulas and Muslim mobs with the military were busy in a 
general massacre and looting Groups of men were pouring m, 
carrying nfles daggers hatchets and other deadly weapons. Wc 
were taken to the house of Ilaji Abdur Rchman Khan, a Muslim 
League leader On all sides the town presented a dreadful scene 
which wc could not bear The attackers had sacked the whole 
town. Not a single shop or house belonging to a non Muslim was 
left which had not been swept clean. The pillaged houses had a 
desolate look with the doors wide open as if no one had ever 
lived in them.” 

Dera Gliazl Khan District 

The importance of the Muslim League and its programme of 
establishing an exclusively Muslim theocratic State of Pakistan 
were almost unknown in the far flung district of Dera Ghazi Khan. 
The river Indus acted as a barrier against extraneous influences 
There is no railway in the district and the only means of transport 
available to the people are motor kirnes bullock-carts or camels. 
A number of ferries ply at various points on the nver and a boat 
bridge during the winter months furnishes access to Muzaffar 
garb. During the summer months when the volume of water in 
the Indus increases tho boat bridge is dismantled and the cross 
mg is made by steamer The local politics were inspired and 
controlled by the tribal chiefs, of whom the most important was 
the bead of the Laghan Tribe. He was a member of the Unionist 



rhe Punjab 


209 


Party and for some time held the office of Minister He exerted 
himself in preserving peace in the district and his influence was 
a strong steadying factor The Deputy Commissioner and the 
Superintendent of Police also took timely action in checking the 
forces of law essness and sent for Gurkha military, to guard the 
towns and refugee camps, and patrol the countryside It is also 
gratif>ing to record that the Muslim police and the Border 
Constabulary displayed, on the whole, a commendable sense of 
duty, though in a few instances their conduct was marred by an 
apathetic indifference towards the safety of the non-Muslims m 
their charge In one or two cases they even gave support and 
assistance to the hooligans and shared the loot 

There were no large-scale mass murders of non-Muslims m 
the district The total number of Hindus and Sikhs was less than 
seventy thousand, comprising only 13 per cent of the population, 
and they resided, for the most part, in the towns of Dera Ghazi 
Khan, lampur, Rajanpur and Taunsa In the villages a few scat- 
tered families handled the rural commerce and trade When news 
of disturbances across the Indus reached Dera Ghazi Khan and 
signs of unrest began to show, these isolated pockets were vacated 
and the non-Muslims moved to places of comparative safety As 
soon as they left, the Muslims looted the entire property left 
behind In some outlying villages, the non-Muslim residents were 
attacked and forcibly converted to Islam Those who resisted 
were put to death In a few cases, refugees travelling to Dera 
Ghazi Khan or Rajanpur were attacked, on the way, and looted 
There were a few instances of arson m villages but these stopped 
when someone gave currency to a supposedly official announce- 
ment that the property of the non-MuSlims belonged to Pakistan 
and should not be destroyed The total loss of life m the district 
was not considerable though the non-Muslims were deprived of 
almost all their property A number of girls were kidnapped and 
subsequently recovered The converted persons were, in due course, 
evacuated to India under escort 

Almost the first outbreak of lawlessness occurred, curiously 
enough, m Choti, the headquarters of the Laghan chief It is said 
that Mohammad Khan, the son of the chief, was responsible for 
this disturbance A number of non-Muslims were massacred and 
the survivors were converted to Islam Kotla Muglan was 
attacked by a Muslim mob, m the beginning of September, and 
five Hmdus lost their fives Many more were injured and the 



210 


Stem Reckoning 


Hindu houses were ransacked and some of the shops were burnt 
down The remaining non Muslim population was compelled to 
embrace Islam and every one of them was circumcised. The non 
Muslim residents of Chon Zann left their village on August 30 
leaving behind seventeen young men to look after the property 
On August 31 a Muslim mob attacked the village and killed 
eight of these young men They then burnt their bodies after 
sprinkling kerosene oil on them. The Hindu shops and houses 
were completely looted The residents of the villages surround 
mg Vahowa abandoned their homes and collected at Vahowa. 
They remained there for some time and were finally escorted to 
Dera Ghazi Khan from where they were evacuated to Muzaffar 
garh and India. At Dajal forty non Muslims lost then - lives m 
the course of a mob attack on September 13 A Sub-Inspector of 
Police drove away the raiders and escorted the survivors to Dera 
Ghazi Khan in trucks A mob attack was made on Ghajaniyan 
on September 3 Twenty seven persons were killed and seven 
injured. The arrival of Dogra soldiers prevented the loss of 
further life and the survivors were taken to Dera Ghazi Khan. 
Mam on was attacked by a Muslim mob on August 30 A number 
of persons were killed and four girls were kidnapped. The 
remaining non Muslims were forcibly converted to Islam. Eight 
days later they were rescued by the military and escorted to Dera 
Ghazi Khan. The non Muslim resident* of Chah Patoli Wala ran 
away to the fields on seeing a Muslim mob approaching the vfl 
lage on the evening of August 31 The Hindu bouses and shops 
were looted while the owners passed the night hiding in the fields. 
The next morning they escaped to Samina from where the police 
escorted them to Dera Ghazi Khan The villages of Sule m a n 
Kasha Dhingana Gadaio Paro and Haraand were similarly 
looted. In ea^h village a few persons lost their lives and looting, 
on an extensive scale took place In Mangrotha Sharqi there 
were about a hundred house* and a dozen shops, owned t>y Hindu 
traders. Towards the end of August the neighbouring villages 
of Solar and Buglam were attacked by tho Muslims, All the 
residents of Mangrotha Sharqi tool f right and left the village 
after locking up their shops and houses on September 3 They 
tool shelter m the police station Tauiua. As soon a* they had 
left their houses were brolen open and looted. A goldsmith who 
had remained behind was murdered. The next day a Daffcdar 
of the Border Constabulary arrived and reported the matter to 



The Punjab 


211 


the Superintendent of Police All the residents of Mangrotha 
Sharqi were safely escorted to Dera Ghazi Khan A Hindu resi- 
dent of Basti Jhok Hafiz Nur Hassan was murdered on August 31, 
and his property was looted The next day, four of the culprits 
were caught and produced before the Zaildar who reported the 
matter to the police Some of the stolen property was recovered 
from the culprits The arrival of the Mounted Constabulary, at 
village Chorhatta, saved the non-Muslims from the assault of a 
Muslim mob Village Mehrawala was subjected to a most 
brutal attack on the evening of September 3 A number of men 
were massacred and some women were raped Four girls were 
carried away There was extensive looting and burning of shops 
The survivors were compelled to accept Islam and all the males 
were circumcised Gurkha military arrived the next day and 
rescued the survivors 

On the evening of September 9 a large mob was seen 
approaching Rajanpur Gurkha military drove them away 
and one of them who was wounded by a shot fired by Gurkha 
soldiers, was caught and prosecuted Near Rajanpur occurred 
probably the worst tragedy in this district On October 25, a 
convoy of thirteen trucks, carrying more than four hundred non- 
Muslims, left Rojhan for Rajanpur The convoy was accom- 
panied by a Muslim military escort The refugees were all 
searched by the Sub-Inspector of Police before they left and 
deprived of their cash and valuables Twelve miles from Rojhan, 
the convoy was attacked by a mob of Muslims Two Advocates 
of Rajanpur who had gone to Rojhan to brmg out the refugees 
were with the convoy, and one of them lost his life while 
trying to defend himself In all forty-six persons from this 
convoy were killed and sixty mjured Seven girls were 
earned away The military escort is alleged to have helped the 
Muslim mob in attacking this convoy A number of non- 
Muslims, travelling on camelback to Vahowa, were attacked on 
September 8 Nme of them were killed and their property was 
looted A lorry, containing twelve Hindus from Taunsa, was 
attacked near Fir Adal and looted, in the end of October Some 
of the passengers were killed On October 6, a lorry from Vahowa 
on way to Dera Ghazi Khan was attacked by a Muslim mob 
and seven persons were kd’ed A lorry, travelling from Paiga to 
Dera Ghazi Khan, was attacked and looted 



212 


Stem Reckoning 


In a number of outlying villages there was little or no lot* 
of life but the residents were forcibly converted and their property 
was looted* 

Bahama! pur State 

Bahawalpur was a predominantly Muslim State and m the 
months of April and May 1947 the news of the happenings in 
Lahore Rawalpindi and Multan and the persistent demand for 
the partition of the country gave rise to a feeling of insecurity 
among the non Muslims Large numbers of them left the State. 
They however returned home as the State remained peaceful 
and their Muslim neighbours gave them assurances of safety The 
Ruler acceded to Pakistan and within a few days of August 15 
attacks on non Muslim life and property began The Nawab was 
away m England and did not return till October 1 by which date 
out of a total of two and a half lakh* non Muslims only about 
seventy thousand were left alive in the State. Between seventy 
and eighty thousand had migrated to India and the rest (one lakh) 
could not be accounted for They had either perished m the mass 
massacre* which took place throughout Bahawalpur or had been 
forcibly converted to Islam. The Muslims proclaimed in triumph 
that the loss of Mushm life m Patiala, Kapurthala and Fandkot 
had been amply compensated by what happened in Bahawalpur 
and felt satisfied that the measure of retribution wan exemplary 
rather than adequate. 

Almost the first important event in the State was the murder 
of a number of Sikh passengers at Bahawal Nagar Railway Sta 
bon on August 19 When the noon tram from B ha tin da arrived 
the Sikh passengers were dragged out and done to death in a 
most brutal manner Soon afterward* noting broke out in the 
town and during the next few days many stray assaults on 
non Muslims were reported. On August 22, several shops in 
D ha ban Bazaar were looted. On August 26 Muslim hooligans 
assisted by the military launched a determined and large scale 


La rr»« Hjtti Qofccwm. H i M » r Viku, HiUnv Knit Sbcr Motina&id. /tin 
law Shth. Ctah luatl Wil*. Im Mitttnnwiit. BlmJ Ntilr Namfaera ShirqL B«*J 
Nor W ihL Bud Reth, Simlni. Smegma. Stnmjxjr and Udkaamlg looting tod nan 
com™* took pfacx- 

I ihnihii Bud. »JUb lum. Cfctk Btmku] WaU. BUcfl. Bobu Bnrtial. Bud 
Cktutxl etrla. CkimJ. Fmfipwr B**d OWL Bud O hwwn, Haro CUrbC Iliac Kliol 
Kujc kofcu KouaJ. KnU Dad. Kn Uxhtn. Bud Luad Buna. Later! ShiauX Bud 
Mid Kuma, iMd Mid MurtU. Mittar PtapkuL Pa- AdH. Mr ftiitok Kku. Bud 
RiJ khiai. Bud Rule* lU, BiaJ Riaua, lucn. Sfeahrala Stub Skdir Dta tod 
Vtdvu kwom ooc took ptm. Tka reudem of tbev IHigq kft, out of far md. u 
tooa ■» Ikry kid m**. tfc« Miakr— looted Ltarti kn— 1 1 tod thopc 



The Punjab 


213 


attack on non-Mushni life and property Curfew was imposed 
on the town but this did not stop the carnage as Muslims defied 
the order and roamed about the streets with impunity, killing, 
looting and burning It is estimated that over four hundred persons 
were killed and many girls were kidnapped About fifty houses 
were reduced to ashes 

Travelling by tram became a perilous undertaking for the 
Sikhs and Hindus and attacks on trains from all parts of the State 
were reported The news of these attacks, and, more particularly, 
the murder of the Sikhs at the Bahawal Nagar Railway Station, 
spread panic in the neighbouring town of Mmchmabad and seve- 
ral hundred non-Muslims rushed to the railway station with their 
luggage, intending to leave for India A mob of Muslims, accom- 
panied by two Tehsil peons and the Octroi clerk, came up and 
told them to go back as the Tehsildar had forbidden their depar- 
ture The members of the mob began to carry away the luggage 
and valuables of the non-Muslims who were forced to return 
home, dejected and deprived of their property Later, m the 
evening, the Muslim residents of Mmchmabad, assisted by the 
local police, started looting Hindu shops Looting continued on 
the following day, locks on houses and shops were broken open, 
cattle were driven away and a state of complete lawlessness 
prevailed The Sub-Inspector of Police arrived in the evenmg 
and tried to restore a semblance of order by firing a number of 
rounds in the air He also arrested some of the ruffians For the 
next few days there was comparative calm and the non-Muslims 
began to leave the town on foot, m parties of one hundred or two 
hundred each The people had to pay heavy bribes to the police 
and the military escorting them The last batch of about three 
hundred left on September 24 They earned their belongings in 
fifty-nine bullock-carts The convoy was stopped near the boun- 
dary of Bikaner State and subjected to a malevolent and harass- 
ing search in the course of which many valuables and ornaments 
were taken away, the womenfolk were molested and one young 
girl was kidnapped A complaint was made to the Bikaner 
authonties who immediately retaliated by refusing to let a Muslim 
convoy go further unless the girl was restored Fortunately wiser 
counsels prevailed, the kidnapped girl was restored and both 
convoys were able to proceed on their way 

Left alone to themselves, the Muslims of Mmchmabad 
plundered whatever was left of the non-Muslim property and 
desecrated the temples and Gurdwaras 



214 


Stem Reckoning 


On August 18 a mob of several thousand armed M uslim* 
attacked the town of Allahabad The raiders began to loot 
non Muslim shops and murder any Hindus and Sikhs they met 
m the streets A message was sent to the Hindu Tchsildar that if 
the non Muslims agreed to embrace Islam their live* would be 
spared. Homed consultaooas were held and it was decided to 
accept the terms offered by the Muslims Several hundred Hindus 
were marched off to a selected spot and converted to Islam. Tbe 
next day a Muslim State official arrived and enquired if the Hindus 
had agreed to be converted of their own free will. His attitude 
appeared to be sympathetic and the Hindus replied that they had 
been forced to do so On this tbe Muslims prepared to attack the 
converts but the State official arrested tbe leader of tbe hooligans 
and ordered his troop* to open fire on the Muslims if they 
attempted to create a disturbance. The non Minimis were to 
a camp and finally evacuated. 

Mitti Roya was attacked, on August 20 by a Muslim mob 
assisted by tbe State force* About twenty non Muslims were 
killed and ten wounded. Their houses were plundered. Further 
mischief was * topped by the arnval of some British military 
officers. 

A mob of a thousand armed Muslims invaded village Goth 
Mehro and called upon the non Muslims to hand over all their 
cash and valuables. When this demand was complied with, the 
Muslims fell upon the unfortunate victims of this robbery and 
began to butcher them. Some women jumped into a well and 
commuted suicide A number of villagers ran away and concealed 
themselves in the fields outside Looting and killing continued 
till midnight and was resumed In the morning. Over two hundred 
non Muslims perished m the course of this holocaust. The lew 
remaining survivors were ceremoniously converted to Islam. The 
young boys were circumcised beef was cooked and served to 
everyone. 

In Kbnnkah Mubarak about six hundred non Mualinu were 
killed Their shnneS were desecrated and nearly a hundred girls 
were carried away The mother of a young boy ran op to save him 
and offered all her ornaments to a murderous ruffian. Tbe man 
took the ornaments and, with a bestial laugh, hacked tbe boy to 
pieces with his hatchet before the eyes of bis mother 

A Muslim Sub-Inspector of Police from Fcrozcporo came to 
Mandi Sadlq Ganj on August 20 and spread the new* that he bad 



The Punjab 


215 


been driven out of his home, and the Sikhs had desecrated the 
mosques by tying their horses inside them This story, commg a 
day after the massacre of Sikh passengers at Bahawal Nagar, was 
the signal for a mass attack on non-Muslim life and property 
which continued for four days The Muslim military took part in 
this assault and shot many unoffending Hindus and Sikhs who 
tried to run away from the town The Gurdwaras and temples 
were desecrated All non-Muslim houses, shops and factories were 
ruthlessly pillaged 

In Bahawalpur itself, signs of unrest were witnessed towards 
the end of August A Muslim mob collected in front of the house 
of the Education Minister and, from there, proceeded to the temple 
of Sanwal Shah The mob was led by a butcher, Bakhsha, who 
rode on horseback When the mob arrived in front of the temple, 
Bakhsha got down and murdered the temple Pujan The mob then 
went back to the city and broke the images m the Kalladhan 
Temple News of disturbances in other parts of the State began 
to arrive and it was rumoured that a mass attack on the 
non-Muslims of Bahawalpur had been planned for September 
13 A Peace Committee consisting of members of all communities 
had tried to maintain calm in the town but, on September 12, the 
Muslim members did not attend the meeting of this Committee 
The next day it was reported that Muslim tailors had removed 
their sewing machines from Hmdu shops where they were usually 
kept At 9 pm shoutmg was heard from the mosque m Chowk 
Bazaar Soon afterwards fires were seen rismg from a number of 
non-Muslim houses The owners who ran out of the burning 
houses were shot by the military The disturbances became more 
widespread and increased in intensity on the following two days, 
and for the space of three days murder, loot and arson went on in 
the town of Bahawalpur It is estimated that nearly one thousand 
non-Muslims lost then lives and two thousand more were injured 
About forty shops and houses were destroyed by fire The 
surviving non-Muslims were then taken to a camp and finally 
evacuated to India 

The worst incident m Bahawalpur State was the massacre of 
a convoy of Sikhs which left Bhattian Camp on September 26 
There were over two thousand men, women and children living 
m the camp and, when it was found impossible to evacuate them 
by tram, a foot convoy, m charge of a Magistrate and a military 
escort, commanded by a Muslim Colonel, was arranged The 
convoy left for Jesalmer State At the first halt, the military escort 



216 


Stem Reckoning 


conducted a wholly unauthorized search for valuable* and cash. 
The refugees resisted and the military opened fire upon them. 
About forty persons were killed. The convoy then proceeded on 
its way and when they arrived at the boundary of Jesalmer State 
they were stopped and all the women and girls were separated. 
The refugees were then completely looted and the men were left 
to continue them journey to Jesalmer They were told to be on 
their guard and warned against a possible attack by the Hun who 
might be lying m wait for them. The goat skins containing the 
drinking water of tho refugees were bayoneted by the soldiers so 
that they found themselves without any water for their long 
journey through the desert A few hours earlier the Colonel m 
charge of the escort had sent forward a number of soldiers who 
concealed themselves round the route of the convoy When the 
refugees entered Jesalmer the soldiers lying m ambush, opened fire 
upon them and the refugees were told that they were being attacked 
by the Hurs. The remaining escort, on the pretext of shooting at the 
Hurs began to shoot the refugees and almost the entire caravan 
was decimated m this manner The women and girls were taken 
away and tho Officer Commanding received a considerable portion 
of the loot and the best looking kidnapped girls. The Magistrate 
was later suspended and the Commanding Officer taken into 
custody He was soon afterwards released and no further action 
was taken against him 

Hasilpur was another place where the loss of non Muslim 
life was very great The village was attacked on August 26 by a 
huge Muslim mob who killed more than four hundred non Musi uns 
and set fire to almost the entire non Muslim property M.any 
young girls were kidnapped. Of these somo were later returned. 
The survivors were forcibly converted to Islam They were 
eventually rescued by a British officer There were manyr village* 
in which there wa* little or no loss of life as the non Mu* Inn* 
were completely overpowered and at once agreed to be converted 
to Islam.* 


Cb»k No. lU 1* tSeaed to hi boM comj«*el7 tooted liter Oh do«-Mui*m hid hfL 
I the foOoataJ lOm there iu do Iom of and tin doo-Mm1mu eocrened 

to ldtm J 

AUul. AibuC Awini, Boh I, Standi Sintd JUua. Bhiodi Stuhra Lakh era. frmia 
Utoctuo. Oak No. 10. Chik No. 11 Chik No. M/JR, Clak No. I <7 Ctuk No. 169. 
Chhfm. Dbh. Obulira AX Otwhn Ani*. Oolk All, Ootk LiL lurid. Jk ifclint, Jhin^ 
V> iB, Jhok Ooti, Kura Bhm. KHiaptiU, KIrpiL K o kin . Mikiraa Shirtf UuM JctO. 
Uocbl Will. Udbommid ft*- ki ohmim*- NiharwiH. Norwr Nurpuf Niunnaa. faflifl. 
Sk* hi Find. tuimnli Tihhl aid Zofrkoc 




Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day 
And make me trotyl forth without my cloak. 

To let base clouds o-ertake me In my way 
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke! 

TLs not enough that through the cloud thou break. 
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face 
For no man well of such a salve can speak 
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace 
Nor can thy shame gin* phytic to my grief 
Though thou repent, yet I have ttUi the loss 
The offender’s sorrow lends but weak relief 
To him that bears the strong offence’s cross ' ^ 

Ah, but those tears are pearl tohich thy love sheds 
And they are rich and ransom all III deeds 


William Shakespeare — Sonnets 



CHAPTER FOUR 


EXODUS 

Tul Muslim League demand for Pakistan was based on the 
hypothesis that Hindus and Muslims constitute two separate 
nations, each entitled to a separate and exclusive homeland where 
they would be free to develop their culture, tradition, religion and 
polity On any other ground, the partition of the country and the 
setting up of a separate independent State for the Muslims would 
have been indefensible But the two-nation theory brought the 
problem of minorities into greater prominence than ever before, 
and partition, instead of offering a solution, made it even more 
difficult and more complicated No matter where the line of 
demarcation were drawn, there would be Hindus, Muslims and 
Sikhs on either side of it, in a majority or in a substantial 
minority , and, whatever the geographical boundaries of Pakistan, 
large numbers of Hindus and Sikhs would, overnight, become 
aliens and foreigners in their own homes Mr Jinnah made 
desperate efforts to evade the issue by promising protection and 
rights of citizenship to the minorities, but the nature of his 
demand was wholly inconsistent with these promises How could 
millions of foreigners acquire rights of citizenship and equal status 
with the nationals of Pakistan , and if they could, why divide 
India, why not let Muslims continue as nationals of India 9 Mr 
Jinnah could find no answer to these questions and he was finally 
compelled to suggest an exchange of population This was such 
a fantastic idea that he referred to it, first, m a vague and 
hesitating manner, as if he were doing no more than throwing out 
a feeler to watch the reactions it brought forth All he said was 
“It is possible that there will have to be exchange of population 
if it can be done on a purely voluntary basis ”* No one took Mr 
Jinnah seriously and, for a year, very little was said about the 
.possibility contemplated by him To the Muslim League, however, 
it was a matter of great urgency as it offered a complete answer 
to the opponents of Pakistan Exchange on a voluntary basis was 
an impossibility The non-Muslims of the Punjab, North-West 
Frontier Province, Sind and Bengal could never consent to leave 
their lands, the industry and commerce they had built up with 

* Mr Jinnah’s interview to the Special Correspondent of the Associated Press of India 
on December 10, 1945. published in Dawn of December 12 1945 



220 


Stem Reckoning 


their money and labour and become beggars and nomads to satisfy 
a whim of Mr Jinnah s nor would the Muslims of tbc United 
Provinces, Bombay Madras Bihar and Central Provinces be 
willing to abandon their native sod give up everything they owned 
and made life worth living and migrate to distant lands,. Human 
beings take moral and cultural roots in the soil where they live 
and prosper for generations and the ties that bind them to the 
native village and town are not easily severed. The dream of 
exchanging populations on a voluntary basis was impossible of 
realization and the Muslim League had to find another way of 
resolving the difficulty 

The Calcutta experiment did not produce very satisfactory 
results but it achieved $ certain measure of success in that large 
numbers of non Muslims were in timi dated into leaving their 
homes even though for a temporary period. The experience 
gained proved useful m Noakhali and Tippera. A change of 
tactics better organization and more favourable conditions cn 
abled the Muslim League to strike terror into the hearts of the 
non Muslims, destroy their property their 'self respect and the 
honour of their women, and convert them wholesale to Islam. 
This was a more effective way of dealing with the minorities and 
obviated the difficulties involved in an exchange of population. 
The events in Bihar compelled many Muslims to leave the pro- 
vince and seek shelter in Sind and the question of exchange arose 
once again It was now taken up by the League leaders and put 
forward in all seriousness and with all the vehemence at their 
command They became more and more uncompromising on 
this issue and answered all criticism by uttering scarcely veiled 
threats and predicted a horrible doom for those who disagreed 
with them. On November 25 1946 Mr Jinnah addressing a 
Press Conference at Karachi expressed the opinion that “the 
authorities both Central and Provincial should take up Jmmedi 
ately the question of exchange of population.”* This brought forth 
a storm of protest from non Muslims all over India. Sir Chimanlal 
Sctalvad the Liberal leader described the idea as “hopelessly 
impracticable” Sardar Swaran Singh said “the SUchs in the 
Punjab would not tolerate any move to this end ” Sardar Patel 
addressing the Nagpur University Convocation characterized 
Mr Jinnah s proposal as. absurd” and one which “can never 
materialize.” The Muslim League leaders on the other hand 


Dnwn. Nostmbtr 26. 1*4*. 



Exodus 


221 


expressed their wholehearted approval of the scheme Khan 
Iftikhar Hussain Khan of Mamdot declared, with great enthusiasm, 
that “the exchange of population offered a most practical solution 
of the multifarious problems ” of the Muslims “We are not gomg 
to ask Sardar Patel or Dr Khare for it, but we will get it by our 
own inherent strength The exchange of population will wipe out 
the most important argument against Pakistan which has been 
persistently fired from the Congress armoury ”* The frank 
avowal and the unabashed threat, implicit m this utterance, were 
hardly calculated to inspire confidence in the minorities Pir 
Ilahi Bux, the. Sind leader, said he “ welcomed an exchange of 
population for the safety of minorities” as such an exchange 
would put an end to all communal disturbances t Sir Evan 
Jenkins, the Governor of the Punjab, observed that by advocating 
an exchange of population the Muslim League was thinking of 
forcibly driving away the Hindus from the Punjab This brought 
forth a protest from Raja Ghaznafar All Khan “This is cer- 
tainly not so,” he said, “the Muslim League will do everything 
possible to protect the minorities living in the Muslim majority 
areas and will even be prepared to give what help is possible for 
any plans of strengthening the sense of security among Hindus 
where they happen to be living as a scattered minority ” But, 
lest his professions of sympathy were misconstrued, he added 
darkly “After what has happened, the present position cannot 
be accepted with equanimity and minorities which are too 
scattered and helpless owing to the smallness of their numbers 
must not be left as a tempting prey to those who can arrange 
organized lawlessness 

Sir Feroze Khan Noon had already threatened to re-enact 
the murderous orgies of Changez Khan and Halaqu Khan if the 
non-Muslims took up a refractory attitude § Everything was 
now ready and, in the month of January 1947, the agitation agamst 
the Punjab Coalition Ministry was started We have seen in the 
previous chapter how it promoted lawlessness and utter disregard 
of authority, and provided an opportunity for the Muslim League 
to organize their forces and rehearse the great putsch which 
would solve the problem of minorities once and for all The 
agitation culmmated in the resignation of the Khizar Ministry and 
when the prospect of a League Government provoked the Sikh 


* Dawn December 3 1946 t Dawn December 4 1946 

t Dawn, December 19 1946 

§ Speech at the Convention of the Muslim Lcasue legislators on April 9, 1946 



222 


Stem Reckoning 


leaders into giving vent to their anger and fears m some- 
what stupid and boastful words their utterance* were made the 
excuse for launching a bloody assault on non Muslim life and 
property The Sikhs had opposed the partition of India with 
even greater vigour than the Hindus because they felt that as a 
community they could only expect disaster in Pakistan it was 
therefore against the Sikhs that the spear point of the Muslim 
League attack was first aimed In the March riots, the Sikhs of 
Rawalpindi faced annihilation and large numbers of them left the 
district. Within a few weeks almost the entire Sikh population 
(save those who were killed or converted) had migrated from the 
district. On a somewhat smaller scale a movement of the Hindus 
from Multan Jhclum Attock and Bahawalpur also took place. 
Some of these non Muslims went back when peaceful conditions 
were restored during the months of April, May June and July 

In Lahore and Amritsar the cauldron of hate and communal 
passion continued to simmer and boiL In May nots broke 
out once again with redoubled fury The Sikhs had asked for the 
partition of the Punjab and the Congress leaders had taken the 
matter up with the Viceroy and Mr Jinnah. There was a danger 
that Pakistan might lose Lahore as the Sikhs were agitating for 
the Cbenab as the boundary line between the two countries. The 
battle for Lahore thus began in May and continued unabated till 
the aty was clear of non Muslims. Persons residing inside the 
walled city were stabbed and intimidated, their habitations were 
destroyed by fire. Homeless and deprived of the means of 
livelihood many of them began to leave the city and the volume 
of exodus increased day by day till it became a pitiable and 
ignominious stampede in the month of August. 

Towards the end of July signs of unrest began to manifest 
themselves m Amritsar and the neighbouring villages. Refugees 
from West Punjab had been for months relating their sufferings 
and losses. Tales of misery anguish and horror received wide 
currency Indignation and resentment went on mounting till they 
passed the limits of human endurance. Every day brought fresh 
cause for revenge and retaliation. The storm of rage bottled up 
for so long burst forth in the beginning of August and the Slkhj 
began to attack the Muslims m the rural areas. In the city of 
Amritsar the loss of Muslim life was almost equal to the loss of 
non Muslim life during May and June, though non-Muslims 
sustained considerably heavier losses in property In Lahore too 





A train of non Muittm rcfuQtt-t from W*it Punjab 



Exodus 


223 


the non-Muslims had begun to hit back and the Rashtriya Swayam 
Sewak Sangh volunteers boasted that they had saved many lives 
by taking the offensive in some cases There, however, the non- 
Muslims were fighting a losing battle as the Muslim magistracy 
and police were openly supporting the Muslim League hooligans 
and giving active assistance to them in every possible way On 
August 11, another determined and, what proved to be the 
conclusive, attack was launched on the non-Muslims of Lahore 
The exchange of population had begun in grim earnest and was 
going to be achieved by the “ inherent strength ” of the Muslims 
A two-way traffic of men, women and children, hounded out of 
their homes and running to seek shelter in unknown lands, started 
and continued for several months None but those who have 
travelled m a refugee tram or seen a foot caravan on its slow and 
interminable march can gauge the magnitude of the problems 
which the Government of India and the Government of East 
Punjab had to cope with, or the difficulties of transporting, feeding, 
housing, lookmg after and providing medical aid to four million 
people 

The exodus gathered volume and momentum so rapidly that 
it took some tune to organize the machinery for protecting and 
transportmg the refugees and putting it m effective working order 
All over West Punjab non-Muslims felt the urgency of leaving 
Pakistan where, within a day or two, conditions of life became 
impossible and destruction was the only alternative left From 
hamlets and villages the people ran like hunted animals to seek 
shelter m towns where they hoped to find safety, m large numbers 
They were not permitted to take their cattle, their household 
effects or their cherished belongmgs On the way they were 
harassed, searched and looted , their young women were molested 
and earned away Those who had the misfortune of hvmg m 
outlying places and isolated pockets found escape impossible In 
the towns and cities large concentrations of refugees grew up, 
and hundreds of thousands of them watched and waited, huddled 
together m camps like herds of cattle Food and drink were 
demed them and they were subjected to frequent attacks From 
large villages started foot caravans on the long and perilous 
journey to the Dominion of India Some of these caravans were 
more than a mile long, and progressed slowly, m their long march, 
from Sagodha, Lyallpur, Montgomery, Balloki on to Ferozepore 
From other places evacuation was undertaken by tram and motor 



224 


Stern Reckoning 


lorry The supply of rolling stock was inadequate and accom 
modation was extremely limited Every train was packed inside 
and outside people climbed on to the roof and sat balanced 
precariously on the curved surface. They stood on the footboards, 
clinging to door handles exposed to the hazards of a shower of 
stones or a volley of bullets. For hours the trams were stopped 
for no ostensible reason, while the passengers suffered the agonies 
of exposure to the sweltering heat of the sun. No food was 
provided water was unobtainable, and if anyone left the train, 
for any purpose he ran the risk of not being able to return alive 
Small children and infants died of thirst and starvation. When 
babies m arms cried for a drop of water till no sound came from 
their parched throats, fathers and mothers m despair give them 
their own urine to drink. Tram after tram was attacked by bands 
of hooligans and armed National Guards assisted by Baluch sol 
diers who had been sent as protector*. Evacuation by motor lorries 
and trucks was neither safer nor more comfortable. The trucks 
were for the most part roofless transport vans, and the passengers 
had to stand so that more of them could bo accommodated. They 
travelled thus for hours, along roads infested by murderous gang*. 
The trucks were frequently attacked and looted. In the foot 
caravans decrepit old men and women unable to withstand the 
rigours of a long and painful march, lay down by the roadside and 
expired without uttering a groan till the whole route was littered 
with bloated and putrefying corpses, animal and human skeletons. 
There was no time to pause and grieve over the dead ones. The 
caravan had to march on — a caravan of a defeated people in flight 
It was of this exodus that Mr Jinn ah spoke in his tirade 
against the non Muslims. “ We have been the victims of a 
deeply laid and well planned conspiracy executed with utter dis 
regard of the elementary principles of honesty chivalry and 
honour” To his own people he said “Do not for a moment 
imagine that your enemies can ever succeed in their designs, but 
at the same time do not make light of the situation facing you. 

You have only to develop the spirit of the mujahids 

There was no co-operation from the officials of the West 
Punjab Government Complaints were made that the rolling 
stock of the trains carrying Muslim refugees from East Punjab 
was not returned in full. West bound trains normally consisted 
of twenty five bogies drawn by two engines. The train*, sent back 
contained only twelve bogies drawn by one engine. Unauthorized 



Exodus 


225 


searches continued at all places in spite of Inter-Dominion agree- 
ments to the contrary In Sind, the Premier openly repudiated 
the authority of the Central Government to prohibit searches 
The personnel of the escort was too frequently Muslim* in whom 
the refugees had no confidence Then fears were often justified 
Insufficient food was supplied to camps and to the refugees on 
the march The Government of India did all they could to 
alleviate the sufferings of their "people Aeroplanes carried food- 
stuffs to feed the starving refugees On September 9, six Dakotas 
loaded with provisions were sent On October 2, 32,000 lbs of 
food were dropped, on October 17 and 18, 12,138 lbs and on 
October 21 and 22, 24,924 lbs of food were dropped 

As an instance of the difficulties encountered by the Liaison 
Agency m evacuating outlying pockets of non-Muslims and the 
lack of co-opeiation from Pakistan officials, the story of how the 
non-Muslims of Isakhel were evacuated may be narrated f 
Isakhel lies beyond the Indus at a distance of about fifty miles 
from Ka’a Bagh It is near the border and not far from tribal 
territory When disturbances began m the various districts of 
West Punjab some Hindus of Isakhel decided to send their 
families to India, while they themselves remained behind to look 
after their lands and business As the situation deteriorated and 
transport difficulties increased, the relatives m India became 
anxious for the safety of those who had been left m Isakhel and 
sent persistent appeals to the Government of India asking them to 
bring out these unfortunate persons The Chief Liaison Officer 
accompanied by Brigadier Keenen.paid a visit to Mianwali and 
contacted the Deputy Commissioner The Chief Liaison Officer 
told him that he wanted to see the local conditions for himself 
and make arrangements for the evacuation of the Hindus of 
Isakhel The Deputy Commissioner disapproved of the Liaison 
Officer’s proposal and said that all the Hindus of Isakhel had 
been voluntarily converted to Islam and that none of them wished 
to go to India He offered to show the Liaison Officer statements 
of converted Hindus, recorded by a First Class Magistrate The 
Deputy Commissioner added that any attempt to rescue these 
men was fraught with the greatest danger and that he would not 
be responsible if anything untoward happened The tribesmen, 
returning from Mirpur (Jammu State), were present in the area 


* See an instance of this on page 144 

t The account has been prepared from the records of (be Chief Liaison Officer 


226 


Stem Reckoning 


and they would resist any attempt to take the converts away 
According to Islam, the tribesmen believed, a converted person 
was liable to suffer death if be became apostate and anyone 
attempting to reclaim such a converted man was subject to the 
same penalty The Liaison Officer however insisted on going 
to the spot himself and the Deputy Commissioner had to agree. 
When Brigadier Keenen approached the Pakistan Commander at 
Mian wall for help in procuring transport, similar objections were 
raised and the Pakistan Commander insisted that the Hindus m 
Isakhel had no nght to be evacuated even if they expressed a 
wish to go to India. Finally however the Commander was 
prevailed upon to place a few trucks at the disposal of the Liaison 
Officer 

Leaving Mian wall early m the morning, tho party arrived at 
Isakhel at about noon. Anticipating the difficulty of establishing 
contact with the Hindu converts in Isakhel. a dozen intelligent men 
from Mi an wall had been taken with the party On arrival at 
Isakhel these men were sent out into the aty to warn the Hindu 
converts that Indian troops under Hindu officers had arrived to 
rescue them and that now was the opportunity for them to escape. 
The information recaved by the Liaison Agency was that the 
converts had been frightened and intimidated to such an extent 
that, whenever any enquiry was made from them regarding their 
desire to go to India they always replied m the negative They 
feared that if they set out on a journey they would be robbed and 
butchered on the way The information conveyed by the men 
from Mian wah, however reassured them and the converts pre- 
pared to leave Isakhel Objections were raised by the local 
Commander and the Nawabs of Isakhel who said that the 
converts did not wish to be evacuated The Commander came 
forward with a proposal that the representatives of the Hindu 
converts were present and wished to speak to the Liaison Officer 
and Brigadier Keenen. The Liaison Officer however replied that 
the officers of the Indian Dominion had no mtenUon of holding 
a discussion with the converts or interviewing them. Their orders 
were simply to have it notified in the aty by beat of drum, that 
those who were willing to be evacuated should come out and no 
persuasion of any kind was to be allowed. The Liaison Officer 
leamt that the Deputy Commissioner had warned the Commander 
of his visit and that arrangements bad been made to tutor some 
of the converts. The Deputy Commissioner had agreed to 



Exodus 


227 


promulgate section 144 of the Crimmal Procedure Code m the 
city, and all residents were required to remain indoors for the 
whole day Before the Liaison Officer entered the city, the local 
Commander of Pakistan troops tried to impose a condition that 
Indian troops should not enter the city and only Pakistan troops 
should bring the Hindu converts from the city area The Liaison 
Officer did not agree as the whole object of his visit to Isakhel 
would have been defeated by the acceptance of this condition 
Finally, it was agreed that the Pakistan and Indian troops would 
act jointly and enter the city together A man chosen from the 
Indian Army and one from the Pakistan Army were accordingly 
sent m pairs The Liaison Officer, accompanied by Brigadier 
Keenen, himself made a round of the city and saw that, on the roof 
of every second house, an armed tribesman and a member of the 
Muslim League National Guard with a rifle were present Their 
object was to terrify the Hindu converts and not allow them to 
exercise their free will The information given by the men from 
Mianwali and the presence of Indian troops, however, reassured 
the converts and m about two hours almost every man, woman 
and child, with as much luggage as they could carry, came out of 
the city and were placed m trucks waiting near the city wall' The 
local officers did not provide transport of any kind so that these 
unfortunate people could only take with them what they could 
themselves carry In this manner six hundred and thirty-four 
persons were rescued 

The convoy, escorted by Indian and Pakistan troops, left 
Isakhel at about 5pm When the convoy was near village Qamar 
Musham, between Kala Bagh and Isakhel, it was waylaid and 
fired at by a crowd of Muslims The Gurkha troops returned the 
fire, killing half a dozen men Fortunately the convoy reached 
Mianwali without further mishap 

The District Liaison Officer of Montgomery had a most 
distressing experience when he went to evacuate some non-Muslims 
from village Harditpur on July 19, 1948 The Liaison Officer 
was escorted by two Muslim foot constables while a Hind u driver 
was m charge of the car m which he travelled At the village a 
large number of people assembled, among whom were some sepoys 
of the Pakistan Boundary Police The District Liaison Officer was 
stopped by these sepoys and told not to talk with the non-Muslims 
whom he had come to evacuate The sepoys then conducted 
him and his party to the Jemadar, and reported that Hindus had 



228 


Stem Reckoning 


entered the boundary of Pakistan without permits. The Liaison 
O ficer informed the Jemadar who be was but the Jemadar was 
not satisfied and proceeded to arrest him his escort and the driver 
of his car The Jemadar then searched the party and removed 
cash and other articles which be found. The Muslim constables 
of the escort were disarmed and their ammunition was taken 
away The Liaison Officer was conducted to village Makhana 
and produced before an officer who finally allowed him to go 
away The non Muslims could not he evacuated. 

There were several attacks on refuge© trams. Some of these 
have been referred to in Chapter Three. A tram which left Pind 
Dadan Khan on September 19 was attacked at three different 
poults of its journey and the loss of life and property suffered was 
considerable. Near Chalisa the tram was stopped by a Muslim 
mob which earned away nearly two hundred women and killed 
a large number of men and women. It was attacked a second time 
near Mughalpur and a third time at Harbanspura. The attack at 
Mugha'pura took place at about noon. Hundreds of people were 
seen marching along the canal bank to waylay the train and attack 
the passengers. The authorities did not stop or discourage them 
and took no preventative action. 

On September 24 a refugee tram from Wah was attacked 
near Wazirabad. The tram was diverted towards Sialkot as its 
journey to Lahore was considered unsafe. A mile from Wazirabad 
it was derailed and a Muslim mob came out of the surrounding 
fields and attacked the passengers The Hindu escort drove the 
mob away and the tram was brought back to Wazirabad. At 
Wazirabad the train was subjected to incessant firing during the 
night and many refugees were killed. 

On October 23 a large batch of non Muslim refugees left 
Sialkot by train The track beyond Jassar was out of order and 
the District Liaison Officer Sialkot, informed the Deputy Com 
nussioner that it was inadvisable to send refugees by this train 
as they would have to leave the train and continue the journey 
on foot through territory infested by Muslim hooligans. The 
D^putv Commissioner however insisted on sending the train and, 
at Jassar all the refugees had to get down and start walking. The 
convoy had proceeded for half a mile when it was attacked by 
a large mob of armed Mus lims who had. been hiding in the 
sugarcane fields. The attack continued for two hours and the 
refuge ran in all directions to save themselves. The nulitaD 



Exodus 


229 


escort instead of defending the refugees began to shoot at them 
One of the Sikh guards was shot dead A number of women were 
raped at the spot and many young girls were kidnapped The 
entire property of the refugees was looted and many of them 
reached the Indian border, deprived even of the clothes they had 
been wearing A conservative estimate places the number of 
persons killed at five hundred and the number of girls kidnapped 
at two hundred and fifty About five hundred persons were 
injured A military officer who flew over the place where the attack 
took place saw the whole area Uttered with rags and dead bodies 

The attack on a train of refugees from Bannu, at the Gujrat 
Railway Station in January 1948, resulted in another horrible 
massacre of non-Muslims Two trains carrying about two 
thousand and four hundred non-Muslims left Bannu on January 
10 When the trams arrived at Man Indus the passengers were 
transferred to one tram which left on the morning of the 11th 
At Khushab the tram was stopped for four hours, and the reason 
given was that the route via Sargodha and Lyallpur was unsafe, 
and arrangements were, therefore, being made for the tram to 
run via Lalamusa and Gujrat The train ultimately left Khushab 
at 7 pm It arrived at Gujrat at 11-30 pm It was escorted 
by a contingent of the Bihar Regiment consisting of a Sikh Captam 
and sixty soldiers The driver of the train was a Muslim At the 
Gujrat Railway Station the engine was disconnected and driven 
off In the dead of mght, two sepoys of the escort who went to 
get water from a tap were attacked by Pathans One of them 
was killed and the other was mjured , the guns of both were taken 
away Soon afterwards the tram was fired at The military 
escort replied and firing continued till the morning when the escort 
found that their ammunition was exhausted A mob of between 
two thousand and three thousand armed Pathans now attacked 
the tram Wmdows and doors were broken open The 
passengers were dragged out and done to death The tram was 
ransacked and thoroughly looted The number of persons killed 
was not less than five hundred The passengers were well-to-do 
Hindus from Bannu and they had brought a large quantity of 
valuables with them It was said that this attack had been care- 
fully planned and that the tram was deliberately brought to Gujrat 
where armed Pathans m large numbers were present In was also 
said that the Pir of Manki Sharif was at that time in Gujrat and 
was seen supervising and directing the attack 



230 


Stern Reckoning 


One of the worst attacks on a lorry convoy took place near 
Lahore on August 26 1947 A convoy of thirty five military 
trucks packed with non Muslim refugees left SiaDcot m the morn 
mg. The convoy was m charge of a British officer and Muslim 
military The lorries arrived at the Chhota Ravi bridge at 2 pm. 
and were stopped. The British officer went back to Sialkot 
saying that he had to report there for duty The Muslim lorry 
drivers went away on the pretext of taking tea. At about 4 pm. 
a large mob of Muslims armed with spears and hatchets attacked 
the trucks. The Muslim sepoys took no steps to beat off this 
attack and no one from Lahore came to the assistance of the 
non Muslims. There was heavy loss of life and when the trucks 
finally reached Amritsar they were found to contain large numbers 
of dead bodies and injured persons. Lorries and trucks travelling 
alone or m twos or threes were frequently attacked. As late as 
July 1948 travelling by lorry on roads in West Punjab was wholly 
unsafe. 

A foot convoy of more than five thousand persons left 
Lyallpux on September 11 1947 It was escorted by Muslim 
military It arrived at Balloki Head on September 15 and was 
attacked by a Muslim mob The escort joined the mob and 
began to shoot the refugees indiscriminately It is estimated that 
nearly a thousand persons lost their lives. A huge convoy nearly 
six miles m length was attacked at various points of its journey 
The refugees m this convoy were without food for days together 
and, but for the provisions supplied by tho Government of India 
most of them might have perished on the way 

The kidnapping of young women and the treatment to which 
they were subjected constitute a sordid chapter in the histoy of 
human relations. Poor innocent girls, young married women, 
sometimes with infants in their arms were forcibly taken away 
to distant places. They were molested and raped, passed on 
from man to man, bartered and sold like cheap chattel. Some 
times it was impossible to trace their whereabouts. When 
representatives of the Indian Dominion went to recover them 
they were concealed and denied access to their relations. Large 
numbers of them, when recovered, were brought to a refugee camp 
at Kunjah. Conditions in this camp beggar description. A young 
woman of 21 describing her experiences, said M I stayed in tho 
camp for two months. Camp life was very miserable. Wo were 
given chappatis full of lime and were constantly molested by the 



Exodus 


231 


soldiers. Maulvis used to come and preach to us agamst the 
Indian Dominion, They told us that we would go to heaven if 
we lived with them They said that it was foolish on our part 
to go to India as flour was selling there at Rs 5 per seer, salt at 
Rs 10 per seer and the difficulties of obtaining cloth were 
insurmountable According to them the Sikhs were not allowing 
Hindu girls to go beyond Amritsar and were rapmg them and 
cutting up their hearts ” A party of young women who were 
brought to the camp said “We reached the camp on the 
fifteenth day It was nothing less than hell The flour was mixed 
with lime and drinking water smelt so foul that it made us ill to 
drink it When the Muslims gave us food they taunted us by 
saymg that they were feeding witches Sick children were given 
wrong medicines and some of them became blind and died as 
the result of the poisons given to them The military guards 
brought their friends at night and molested the young girls m the 
camp They pinched our breasts and made indecent jokes , those 
who were pregnant were shot down One day a man caught me by 
my breast and dragged me When I moaned and wailed he kicked 
me and then left me to weep A young girl of 14 or 15 sleeping by 
my side was dragged away and raped When she resisted they 
kicked her Her face in the morning looked as if it had been 
scratched by a knife ” A young woman who was forcibly married 
to a Muslim named Sultan said “ Whenever Sultan came to know 
of the arrival of the Indian military he would take me out and hide 
me m pits which were covered from above, leavmg very little space 
for breathing air Thus he deceived the military several times 
One day, the military reached the station unawares Sultan locked 
me up in the house and went out The soldiers called out loudly 
that if there was any Hindu woman about she should come out 
I peeped out of a wmdow and, seeing the soldiers, became 
frightened, but their assurances convinced me I was taken out 
of the house through that window and brought to Lahore ” 

In some rare mstances the girls had the good fortune of 
receivmg kind treatment There is, at least, one recorded case of a 
Muslim willingly escorting his Hindu wife to the military camp 
and making her over to her relatives A young woman of 22 
who was travelling with a foot convoy from Lyallpur said 
“When I grew up I found myself an orphan The people with 
whom I was living sold me to an old man named Tara Singh He 
married me for the purpose of having children and paid Rs. 500 



232 


Stem Reckoning 


for me. He treated me kindly When the convoy left Lyallpur 
we all joined it The military had robbed us of everything before 
we left our house. First they took away our arms then our vahi 
able*. On the way I was separated from my people I saw men 
being murdered and women being raped on the wayside If some- 
one protested be was killed One woman was raped by many 
men I was also raped by three men in succession- A man at 
last took me to his house and kept me there for eight days. He 
treated me in a beastly manner He subjected me to physical 
torture, forced cow bones into my mouth so that I should be con 
verted to Islam and, when I objected, ho thrashed me and made 
me lie under his bed. He put my hands under the charpoy legs 
and sat down on it to say his prayers. He asked me to repeat the 
prayers while I suffered agonies of pain- When I could not pro- 
nounce the words be uttered, he threatened to shoot me with his 
gun. After eight days of this torture the military recovered mo. 
I was taken to Amritsar and then brought to the Gandhi Vanita 
Ashram " The Lady Fact Finding Officer who took the statement 
of this unfortunate woman noticed that the extent of her suffering 
had unbalanced her mind. 

A young girl of 12 gave the following story “ The news of 
the communal troubles m the cities used to frighten us, but the 
villagers always said. Let us wait till the 15th of August and 
then we will go away Trouble came to the neighbouring 
villages and then my relations collected a group of people and wo 
came out of the village. We had gone only a little way when a 
mob of Muslims attacked ui I was stabbed in five places. Many 
people were killed and many ran away I was separated from my 
parents. When I recovered my senses I saw two boys of my age 
lying near me and eight or nine dead bodies. The boys and I 
were bleeding. We got up and started to go towards the village. 
A Muslim Wazir by name, caught me took mo to his village and 
left me with his sister I did what his sister told me while Wazir 
used to go out to attack other villages. Wazir then sent me to his 
relatives in another village. I became ill and the women m that 
house were kind to me. When I recovered the master of the bouse 
wanted to many me. His first wife told me privately not to qbcf 
the priest even if I were beaten or threatened. I did what she 
said and when the priest went away the man gave mo a good 
beating. The old man came to my bed scratched my face and 
removed my clothes. I cned out for help to the mistress of thi 



c, xvaus 




house, but the man did not listen to her She then brought her son, 
and, hearing his voice, the old man left me After a few days the 
old man’s son sent me to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital at Lahore 
with a Muslim, but that Muslim took me to the Lahore Jail where 
many Hindu girls were living at that time In the evening the wife 
of Anwar, a Muslim, took me to her house She had two more 
girls staying with her already All three of us used to sleep m 
one room Anwar’s wife told me that she would marry me to 
her son when he finished his studies He was then reading 'in 
the ninth class I stayed in this house for two months My father 
was looking for me in Lahore The military one day came and 
surrounded the house and rescued me ” 

Slowly and step by step, the situation was brought under 
control as the Civil Administration and the Military Evacuation 
Organization mobilized their resources There were fatal and 
agonising delays in procuring transport and escorts, in sending 
help to the isolated pockets in outlying areas, m searching out 
the kidnapped women The Government had to labour agamst 
heavy odds Unprecedented floods broke down the lines of com- 
munication Portions of the railway track in East Punjab were 
washed away, roads were damaged beyond repair, telephone and 
telegraph systems were frequently out of order All the while, 
refugees in distress continued to make loud and frantic appeals for 
help to all departments of Government Some had faith only m 
the highest and sent personal letters to Mr Nehru and Sardar Patel 
The correspondence bag of the Prime Minister for the months 
of August, September and October 1947 contamed a curious 
assortment of letters from all kinds of people There were letters 
beggmg him to exercise his personal intervention to save a son 
or a wife, a father or a more distant relative The Prime Minister 
was asked sometimes to rescue a factory, some piece of machinery, 
a cash box or an article of furniture There were letters complain- 
ing of the indecision of the Government of India, letters accusing 
the Prime Minister of lack of sympathy for the non-Muslims, 
letters charging him with enjoymg the fruits of victory at the 
expense of the Hindus of West Punjab, letters giving details of 
property left m Pakistan, descriptions of relatives whose where- 
abouts had not been heard of, apologetic letters, complaining 
letters, letters informing him of things he knew only too well, 
letters which began by saying that the writer was taking the 
opportunity of addressing the greatest man m the world, letters 
1G 



234 


Stem Reckoning 


from persons who claimed to have met the Prime Minister on some 
occasion years previously letters from avowedly total strangers, 
letters from officials, business men shopkeepers rich men poor 
men. men m agony deprived of their property men asking for a 
job One letter began “ Dear Sir I am a poor and dirty man in 
the world. I have written one letter for you till now there is no 
reply You are enjoying now for the m dependence. I am sorrow 
mg now for the cause of money Another correspondent said 
**My Lord! I with heavy heart, state you my whole miserable 
autobiography The writer who described himself as a poor 
student then went on to give a narrative of his scholastic career A 
retired headmaster unable to trace his son m law wrote as follows 
M Worthy of reverence Panditji It is after the greatest hesitation 
that I write this to you knowing that your time is very predous. 
What has compelled me to write this to yon is the fact that in 
casting about my eyes I fail to find anyone in the world except 
you who can help me in my calamity ” 

Day after day week after week non Muslims from West 
Punjab continued to pour across the border m trains lorries 
aeroplanes bullock-carts and on foot, till by the end of December 
1947 four mflhons of them had come to India All of them had 
left behind their property and valuables the majority of them 
had suffered bereavement their bodies sick and wounded their 
souls bruised with the shock of horror they came to a new home. 
There was discomfort in the refugee camps and the future held 
out uncertain hopes but at last, them lives were free from 
danger and the honour of tbeir womenfolk was afe As they 
crossed the boundary Ime and entered the Dominion of India a 
cry of joy arose from their tired and almost voiceless throats with 
the spontaneity of a reflex action Many of them wept with sheer 
relief as they uttered the salutation “ Jai Hind.” 




Let there be In Pakistan, the separate centre of It lam. 

We shall not in Pakistan have to look at faces of non 
Muslims 

The abode of the Muslim Nation txrtll brighten up only 
When In Pakistan there remain no idolatrous thorns 
They (Hindu*) whose function is to be slaves have no right 
to participate in Government, 

Nowhere have they succeeded in governing 

—Song recited at the Mujlim League 
Conference at Sultanlcot (Sind) 


Let the Hindus of Sind leave Sind and go elsewhere 
Let them go while the going l* good and possible else I 
loam them that a time is fast coming when in their flight 
from Sind, they may not be able to get a horse or an aJJ 
T a garl or any other means of transport.” 


— Mu Kkubm* 



CHAPTER FIVE 


SIND 

Events m the newly created* Province of Sind followed a 
peculiar course of their own This portion of India was one of 
the first to be conquered by the Muslims and has always remamed 
a Muslim stronghold During the British regime it formed part 
of the Bombay Presidency for administrative purposes until 
March 31, 1937 The province was not economically rich and, 
before the Karachi Port attained its present proportions, it 
was considered to be a drag' on the finances of Bombay The 
Hindu leaders of the Bombay Presidency were anxious to throw 
off this burden and often pressed for the separation of Smd from 
Bombay At first, however, this proposal was not entertained as 
the British Government considered it impracticable The 
pendulum gradually swung m the opposite direction, when mcome 
from the port of Karachi mcreased, and the Muslims of Smd 
began to agitate for its separation from Bombay They demanded 
that the income from customs should be paid towards the Pro- 
vincial Revenues in order to make it a self-supporting province 
While the Bntish Government were making up their mind about 
the matter. His Highness the Aga Khan offered to purchase the 
province m lieu of his loyal services to the British Crown extend- 
ing over a number of years, and to these he agreed to add a sub- 
stantial amount drawn from his much accumulated cash and gold 
The prospect of his becoming the Nawab of Smd was not 
unpleasmg to a number of persons and the Aga Khan found a 
great deal of support for his proposition, particularly m the die- 
hard element of the British peerage Indian opinion was strongly 
, opposed to this retrograde step as it would have meant the crea- 
tion of a quite unnecessary autocracy, and, when the Secretary of 
State for India announced that the Aga Khan’s petition had been 
rejected, the news was received with great relief Shortly after- 
wards the Government of India Act, 1935, was passed and Smd 
became a separate provmce 

According to the census of 1941 the total population of the 
province was 45 35 lakhs, of whom no less than 70 7 per cent 
were Muslims The economy of the provmce depends mamly 


• Sind was separated from the Bombay Province by the Go\emmcnt of India Act 1935 



238 


Stern Reckoning 


upon agriculture and there arc few industries of any importance 
It is to be observed that only a little over one half -of the total area 
is cufturabJc as there arc large sandy tracts where nothing grows 
Actually a little less than one-fifth of the total area is under 
cultivation The province has spent large sums of money on 
schemes of irrigation and m spite of the fact that the annual un 
gation expenses amount to Rs. 170 67 lakhs the total income from 
land revenue and water cess is only Rs 125.56 lakhs. Before the 
partition of the country Sind used to receive a subvention of 
Rs 105 lakhs from the Central Revenues and without this contn 
bntion it was impossible to balance the provincial budget These 
facts give some idea of the poverty of this small province.* The 
Hindus were mostly petty shopkeepers poor labourers or tenants 
of Muslim Zemindars Although there was a substantial number 
of Hindus living in urban areas who were engaged in business or 
industries they represented only a small proportion of the total 
Hindu population There were also a few Hindu Zemindars but 
their number was not considerable The Hindus of Sind were 
not aggressive or bellicose like the non Muslims of the Punjab 
They were not given to indulging m political agnation or clamour 
ing for their rights. The impression one gams is that the Hindus 
had resigned themselves to the theory that the Muslims of Sind 
belonged to a superior class and were entitled to treat the Hindus 
as their underlings The labourers and the poor cultivators were 
particularly tnnid and were, at no time prepared to offer resist 
anco to the Muslim hooligans or to insist upon retaining whatever 
rights they had m property Their first impulse when the 
disturbances began was to run away rather than stay and offer 
fight 

The result of the first elections held under the Government 
of India Act of 1935 showed that it would not be an easy matter 
to form a stable Ministry in Sind The constitution of the parties 
was such that no single party commanded an absolute majority 
m the Legislature. The Muslim League secured only eight out of 
sixty seats. The largest number of seats was won by independent 
persons belonging to no political party After a certain amount 
of unsavoury bargaining with self seeking legislators Sir Ghulam 
Hussain Hidayatuflah succeeded in forming a Ministry Ho did 


No —ml no fa axk la tor** IcktI of to* kxoco* dmud Brora Ccadl 
*Wc* tor— Um coacrifcutioa wwwrfc to* Crrnff*! Hr me Nor U am 
U* li cnd by to* Crtur* on <A De£mc* rad otoer imrkxi free* 

to* crotlncr beneflfc. TS* 0*1 rauk. to*rr#ore, a wtm Du brt* potead <m «bc*#. 



Sind 


239 


not hovvcvci, stay in office long and was defeated by a combina- 
tion ot the Congress and the Allah Bu\ Group Mr Allah Bux 
now became the Premier and began to seek the assistance of the 
Congress for the support of his cause Mr A iah Bux himself had 
shown strong national leanings and was not disposed to endorse 
the Muslim League programme He even offered to join the 
Congress and take all lus supporters with him, if the Congress 
would help him to form a stable Ministry Maulana Abul Kalam 
Azad who was deputed to deal with this matter, however, advised 
that it would be better in the interests ot the province to form a 
united Muslim Party which should devote its energy and attention 
to economic and social progress Had Mr Allah Bux succeeded 
in doing this, the Muslim League would have ceased to count as 
a force in Sind Mr Jinnah however, successfully prevented the 
formation of such a united Muslim Party and the Muslim League 
members declined to give their support to Mr Allah Bux Even 
the Hindu Party joined hands with the Muslim League opposi- 
tion The position of Mr Allah Bux thus became precarious 
He suffered a defeat on February 13, 1940, and, six days later, 
tendered lus resignation to the Governor He was, however, 
asked to continue in office until a stable Ministry could be formed 
On February 26, a no-confidence motion against the Ministry was 
brought forward m the Assembly and Mr Allah Bux resisted this 
attempt to dislodge Inin from office, though he had not withdrawn 
his resignation, and still professed his readiness to quit He sur- 
vived the censure, implicit in a no-confidence motion, by the cast- 
ing vote of the Speaker This narrow majority showed that 
Mr Allah Bux’s position was extremely insecure and on March 
18, 1940, his resignation was accepted Mr Bundeh Ah Khan, 
on being called by the Governor, formed the new Mimstry He 
proved quite unequal to the task of administration, and 
the peace and economy of the provmce deteriorated a 
great deal by his incompetence and self-interest Mau- 
lana Abul Kalam Azad was once again asked to resolve 
the tangled skein of Smd pohtics , and he drew up what 
was popularly called the Azad Pact, the terms of which were that 
Mr Bundeh All Khan was to resign his office as Premier and allow 
Mr Allah Bux or Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah to take his 
place as head of the Government The new Government would not 
be a League Government though it would include League Ministers 
and would also have the support of the Congress Party Mr Bundeh 
Ah Khan agreed to implement this Pact but, subsequently, on the 



240 


Stem Reckoning 


advice of Mr Jinnah retracted his promise. The Ministry was 
overthrown on March 8 1941 and Mr Allah Bux once again 
returned to office. His nationalist leanings bad now become more 
pronounced and he openly took instructions from the Congress 
High Co mma nd in administrative matters. The events which fol 
lowed the 44 Quit India resolution of the Congress m August 1942 
agitated htm a great deal and be renounced his title of Khan 
Bahadur He communicated his decision to the Viceroy m a 
strongly worded letter * and the result was that, within two days, 
the Governor of Sind summoned him to Government House and 
summarily dismissed him from the post of Provincial Premier A 
few months after this Mr Allah Bux was murdered.! Among the 
persons tried for this crime was Mr Khurho who had occupied the 
post of a Munster in the Cabinets of Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayat 
ullah and Mr Bundeb All Khan. At the time of Mr Allah Bux • 
murder also he was a Minister and was removed from office to 
stand his tnal. Subsequently he became the Premier of Sind.J 

On October 10 1942, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah was 
again invited to form a Ministry He thus returned to power and 
continued to share it with the Provincial Governor in a varying 
degree, until the establishment of Pakistan when be was himself 
raised to the post of the Governor He was far from easy in his 
position as Premier There was a great deal of opposition even 
among the Muslim League members, and on February 14 1945 
the Ministry was defeated with the help of some M uslim League 
votes. Hidayatullah behaved like a chastised child and declared 
“ Smd u not fit for reforms. We m this House are teaching how 
to be treacherous,* and then went away to sulk. As the result of 
this defeat, however he reconstituted bis Ministry by taking Khan 
Bahadur Hap Moula Bux into his Cabinet and continued in office. 
Moula Bux, a brother of Mr AD ah Bux, was not a member of the 
Muslim League and he was naturally asked to sign the League 
pledge. Moula Bux refused and HidayatuDa was ordered by the 
League High Command to reconstitute his Cabinet once again. 
On March 12, 1945 Hidayatullah resigned and proceeded to re 
form hn Ministry In the meantime Moula Bux went to the 
Governor and told him that he was m a position to form a stable 


For *m of tho kiur ar* Atmcr*Ox L 
t iur 14. imj 

^ * u . rxtund Crooi bit po ft, tried oa cSvfln of cOTTUpcioa 4*1 tS*fi 



Sind 


241 


Ministry if he were given twelve hours’ time The Governor, how- 
ever, saw no reason why Moula Bux’s bargaining should stabilize 
matters more effectively than the negotiations m which Hidayat- 
ullah was engaged He, therefore, declined to entertain this 
proposal 

Hidayatullah’s mew Ministry ran a somewhat dubious and 
erratic course but succeeded in surviving, mainly, because the 
members of the Congress Assembly Party were not allowed to 
attend the session Attempts were now made to overthrow 
Hidayatullah and G M Syed, President of the Sind Provincial 
Muslim League, led the opposition G M Syed was 
promptly expelled from the League On February 8, 1946 
Hidayatullah again reconstituted his Cabinet The members of the 
new Ministry were all Muslim Leaguers The other groups now 
formed a coalition opposition under the leadership of G M Syed 
On March 19, 1946, a no-confidence motion was moved against 
one of the Ministers This was defeated by one vote, thirty voting 
against the motion and twenty-nine for it The Assembly was 
then prorogued before any further injury could be inflicted on this 
drooping and sapless Ministry The Assembly met again on 
July 11, 1946, to elect members for the All-India Constituent 
Assembly A no-confidence motion was once again tabled but, 
on the first day, its discussion was avoided by taking up a technical 
objection and, the next day, the Assembly was prorogued by the 
Governor G M Syed now appealed to the Governor and asked 
him to compel the League Mmistry to resign The Governor did 
not agree A motion of no-confidence was tabled against the Min- 
istry and it was due to come up for discussion on September 10, 
1946 The Ministry hoped to have the support of twenty-nme votes 
while the opposition consisted of thirty votes The sixtieth mem- 
ber occupied the position of the Speaker who belonged to the 
Muslim League, but naturally could not vote It was expected, 
therefore, that the no-confidence motion would be passed by one 
vote To meet this unfortunate event, the Speaker resigned from 
his post of enforced and helpless impartiality so that he could vote 
against the no-confidence motion The parties now numbered 
thirty each The Deputy Speaker, Miss Jethi T Sipahimalam, 
would have to sit m the chair, on the day the motion came up for 
discussion, and this would mean the reduction of the opposition 
party by one The resignation of the Speaker had, therefore, re- 
versed the situation and the no-confidence motion must be lost by 



2 42 


Stem Reckoning 


one vote To meet this eventuality Miss Sipahmmlani resigned 
from the post of Deputy Speaker The result was that there was 
no one left to sit m the Speaker s chair Mr Fraser a European 
member had on previous occasions occupied the chair when both 
the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were not available. It is 
said that he expressed his willingness to take the chair but as be 
was the supporter of the Government this would have meant 
reducing the support of the Ministry by one vote A stalemate 
bad been reached and expectation ran high as to how this seeming 
impasse would be resolved. The Governor came to the rescue 
by exercising his special powers of dissolving the Assembly and 
ordering a general election. 

During the mtenm period the Hidayatullah Ministry continued 
in office and exercised every kind of pressure and influence in 
shaping the course of the elections. The voters were intimidated, 
threatened and directed to support the Muslim League candidates. 
Sayad Murad Ah Shah a supporter of Mr G M Syed was shot 
dead in his village by a Muslim League worker Sayad J and ml 
Shah, another supporter of the Coalition Party was arrested and 
refused bad. Haji Moula Bux stood against a Muslim League 
candidate and was declared elected. League hooligans avenged 
their defeat by assaulting him outside the office of the Revenue 
Commissioner and Returning Officer He was abused and beaten 
in the presence of the Returning Officer and the police but no one 
chose to interfere. Haji Moula Bux s son, Mansoor was also 
belaboured by Muslim League hooligans. Independent Hindu 
Mukhtarkars were transferred just before the elections. Muslim 
Presiding Officers, known for their integrity were made to resign 
An official took leave and openly worked for a League candidate. 
A neb Zemindar undergoing a sentence of twenty years imprison 
ment was prematurely released. Land was given to another on 
condition he helped Sir Ghulam Hussain s son Anwar Five 
hundred persons were brought from Hyderabad (Sind) to imper 
sonate voters in Karachi District. Mr G M Syed complained 
of last minute changes in his polling stations and Presiding and 
Polling Officers, indicating a plan of impersonation on a large 
scale. The election results showed that these efforts had succeeded 
in attaining the desired object The Muslim League secured 
thirty five scats out of a total of sixty and thus obtained an absolute 
majority in the new House. 



Sind 


243 


On the cieation of Pakistan, Hjdayatullah became Governor 
of Sind His previous supporter and rival, Mr Khurho, became 
the Premier but he was very soon dismissed by Hidayatullah under 
Mr Jinnah’s instructions and was placed before a Special Tribunal 
to stand an enquiry into charges of corruption and malpractices 
Pir lllahi Bux succeeded Mr Khurho as Premier Five daily 
newspapers of Karachi, soon afterwards, started a campaign against 
him and demanded his instant removal As the result of an elec- 
tion petition against him, his election was declared invalid on the 
ground of corrupt practices and he was forced to resign 

This brief narrative of the political events m Sind shows that 
Provincial Government was reduced to a travesty of the adminis- 
trative machinery Party alignment was based on considerations 
of personal gam rather than on moral conviction or a desire to do 
public good The voting in the General Election of 1945-46, 
which was fought on the issue of Pakistan, showed that only 46 3 
per cent of the Muslim votes were cast for the League candidates , 
and only 20 8 per cent of the total electorate voted for the Muslim 
League Thus, although the population was predominantly Mus- 
lim, the support for the Muslim League was extremely meagre 
In the circumstances, it is not surprising that the Ministers were 
weak and liable to be swayed from their resolve by petty intrigues 
Sir Hugh Dow took over the Governorship of the provmce m 
April 1941, and, soon afterwards, began to interfere m the day-to- 
day administration of Government Mr Allah Bux, who was the 
Premier at that time, felt greatly agitated by this circumstance and 
brought the matter up m the Assembly He, however, felt helpless 
and said that he had referred the question to the Viceroy, and 
added that it was no use his “ resignmg m a huff ” He, no doubt, 
realized that if he went out of office the Governor would at once 
be able to find someone more accommodating and less protesting 
When personal advancement is the mam moving force m politics 
and where the various parties are unstable and subject to constant 
change, the Government cannot retain a firm hold on administration 
and maintain law and order The various Ministries which held 
office in Smd never made a senous attempt to deal with this im- 
portant problem Disorders were at various times allowed to 
spread over large areas and undermine the administration The 
Pir of Pagaro and the activities of his nefarious band of marauders 
contributed, in no small measure, to this unfortunate state of affairs, 
and, m 1942, the Pir’s disciples, whose numbers extend into several 



244 


Stem Reckoning 


thousands, terrorized whole districts by indulging m wholesale 
murder sabotage and dacoity It was only after Martial Law was 
proclaimed m Sind on June 1942, that these fanatical followers of 
the Pit could be brought under controL Their suppression was no 
easy matter for the Huts as these disciples are called were skilled 
gangsters having behind them a history of seventy years of crime. 
Their chief arm was the axe, although they also possessed large 
quantities of firearms and ammunition. They had succeeded in 
overawing the population bv using the weapon of reprisal against 
all unfriendly acts. Thar mam hide-out was in a thick forest where 
they could easily evade arrest. The Hors were essentially a criminal 
tribe and their activities were not of a communal nature but, after 
their suppression the spirit of lawlessness which they had dissemi 
nated in the province gave mo to a strong anti Hindu feeling and 
this was utilized by the Muslim League protagonists in arousing the 
Muslim masses. A prominent Hur was tried and convicted of the 
murder of Mr Allah Bux who had refused to line up with the 
Muslim League. 

The Muslim leaders had for some time before the establish 
ment of Pakistan carried on a ruthless anti Hindu propaganda and 
their utterances were not calculated to promote peace Mr Khurho 
during his election campaign for the Smd Legislative Assembly in 
1945-46 is reported to have said 44 I am looking forward to the 
day when the Hindus in Sind will be so impoverished or 
economically weakened that their women, even like poor Muslim 
women now will be constrained to carry on their heads the midday 
food to their husbands, brothers and sons toiling in the fields and 
market places." * Later on when he became Minister for Public 
Works, he declared M Let the Hindus of Sind leave Sind and go 
elsewhere. Let them go while the going is good and possible, else 
I warn them that a time is fast coming when in their flight from 
Sind they may not be able to get a horse or an ass or a getri or 
any other means of transport"! Agha Badaruddm Ahmad 
M.L.A. Deputy Speaker of the Smd Legislative Assembly in a 
letter addressed to the Sukkur District Muslim League Conference, 
said ** These Muslims are anxiously and restlessly straining their 
ears to hear the sound of the hooves of galloping horses, the 
rattling of the swords and the sky rending slogans of Allah-o- 
Akbar of Muslim crusaders."! Pit Ilahi Bux Minister for 


Quoted trj hr«w V T»IWvauai la Why Um Ct od rii ftta Xtad. 
t “ W*y ib* Enadf froa St*d- by Pirttru V Tiktuunl 
t Ah^Jdd. lUrnhi. dtad April * mi 



Sind 


245 


Education and Local Self-Government,* m the course of a speech 
which he delivered at Jacobabad m April 1947, said that the 
Muslims would give the Hindus a fourth battle of Pampat where 
the Hmdus would meet their Waterloo The Muslim Press m Smd 
was equally violent Dawn, which is the official organ of the 
Muslim League, m its issue of September 13, 1947, called upon the 
Muslim League National Guards to help m searchmg the baggage 
and persons of Hindu passengers, both male and female, who were 
leavmg for India The Hilal-e-Pakistan, a Smdhi daily of Hydera- 
bad, published a fanatical article on October 6, 1947, and called 
upon the Muslim criminals and hooligans to devote their energies m 
victimising Hindus 

“ You should neither kill nor rob Mushms On the contrary, 
your full strength, valour and weapons should be used to wreak 
vengeance on those people with whom even today thousands 
of Muslim women are'pnsoners Every Muslim who casts his 
eye on this article and happens to know any dacoit, thief, 
aggressor or a Patharidar should carry our request to him and 
should instruct him to convey the exact sense of our appeal to 
members of his Jamiat You should inform us about your 
Association or meet us so that we may give you requisite instruc- 
tions and directions ” 

This was published after the partition of the country and shows 
the extent to which the emotions of the Muslim masses were bemg 
worked up 

The lead given by the Muslim leaders was quickly followed by 
religious preceptors and the local Zemindars who saw m this 
anti-Hindu propaganda an opportunity for the satisfaction of per- 
sonal greed The Pir of Barchundi of Ubavero Taluqa m Sukkur 
District had a large following of murids (disciples) He had always 
supported the League candidates m the Assembly elections and, 
therefore, enjoyed the confidence of the League Ministers He 
began to exhort his disciples to terrorize the Hmdus and deprive 
them of then: crops and lands Qazi Fazal Ullah of District 
Larkhana is reported to have said, “ Take your sword m one hand 
and your Quran in the other and win for Islam a superior position ” 
The smaller Zemindars urged their tenants to harass Hmdus, 
deprive them of then: crops and plunder their houses The seeds 


* Now the Premier of Sind. 



246 Stem Reckoning 

of unrest and communal hatred sown m this manner soon 
bore fruit. 

The attitude of the Smd Muslims towards the Hindus became 
increasingly arrogant and overbearing- The element of financial 
gam was, of course, predominant in shaping their conduct The 
authorities responsible for keeping Jaw and order were indifferent 
to this state of affairs and they had no real desire to maintain 
peace among the two communities. Some time before the partition 
of the country a few sporadic attacks on Hindu person and 
property began in the southern districts of Smd. There were, how 
ever no extensive disorders until the Muslim refugees from East 
Punjab began to arrive and spread stones of atrocities to which they 
had been subjected by the non Muslims. They had been uprooted 
from their homes. They had seen massacre and looting on a large 
scale and were not slow to wreak vengeance upon the Sind Hindus 
and Sikhs. The initiative taken by them was followed up by the 
Smd Muslims. In some few cases the local Muslims tned to inter 
vene. They promised protection to the Hindus and made half 
hearted and feeble attempts to ward off tfte attacks made by the 
Muslim fanatic* but very soon they too joined the band of 
marauders in the hope of enriching themselves at the cost of the 
Hindus. There is mention of one Khan Bahadur Sardar Jogan 
Khan of village Jogan m Sukkur District who assured the Hindu 
villagers that be would safeguard their life and property After 
the partition however he took a prominent part in looting them. 
Faqtr Ghulam Ah the headman of village Kandn, is mentioned 
as having saved the lives of the Hindu villagers but not their 
property in which he took ins due share. 

There were two distinct lines of attack upon Sind Hindus. 
Of these the most important was economic pressure brought to 
bear from all sides, and in this, the Muslim officials took a very 
prominent part Mention has been made of the attitude of the 
Muslim Zemindars towards the Hindu and Sikh population. This 
manifested Itself in the deprivation of tbe crops of the Hindu 
tenants by the Muslim landlords. Tbe Zemindars refused to give 
a share of the crop to the Hindu horis The Muslim funis refused 
to hand over the crops of the Hindu Zemindars. The Revenue 
Authorities demanded payment of land revenue before tbe due 
date and the Muslim horis were instructed not to hand over any 
portion of the crops until the receipts for land revenue were shown 
to them. They openly carted away the harvested groin while the 



Sind 


247 


Hindu owners looked on helplessly In one case a Muslim land- 
lord carried away the entire crop reaped by a Hindu tenant The 
tenant sued the landlord but, one day, when he was returning to 
his village, he was waylaid and murdered Hmdus were not 
allowed to sell movable or immovable property Even where they 
succeeded in securing a purchaser, they had to part with their 
goods for a mere pittance One shopkeeper in village Bambro m 
Tharparkar District had to part with his entire stock-m-trade worth 
several thousand rupees for the paltry sum of Rs 15 A medical 
dispensary at Phulji Railway Station was sold for Rs 100 The 
District Magistrate of Larkana issued a proclamation that any 
Hindu selling property would be committmg an offence punishable 
with six months’ imprisonment Three Hindus were actually 
detained for a number of days upon this charge Thefts of Hindu 
property in the rural areas assumed alarming proportions Cattle 
were driven away from the grazing fields Houses and shops were 
broken into and the goods therein carried away m broad daylight 
A curious feature of these thefts was that even doors and wmdows 
of houses were removed and carried away There were cases of 
dacoities in which the culprits were armed with firearms and battle- 
axes One Sub-Inspector of Police removed the tiles from a reli- 
gious institution in Dadu District He used the tiles for his own 
house The Mukhtarkar in village Ladhedero, District Dadu, 
asked the Muslim harts if they had celebrated Pakistan, which 
meant if they had looted the Hindu Zemindar of his produce 

Hindu occupiers of houses were driven out and Muslim 
refugees put in their place In some cases Muslim refugees were 
billeted m Hmdu quarters and their presence compelled the Hindus 
to leave In one case a Hmdu factory owner was served with 
notice that his factory would be taken over unless he purchased a 
certain quantity of nee for his factory within four days The 
owner protested that his factory was workmg and that he had 
the requisite raw materials m stock He was, thereupon, directed 
to hand the factory over to a Muslim Millowners were told to 
take Muslims as their partners on pam of their mills bemg con- 
fiscated In one case a Hmdu was ordered to hand over his mill 
to a Muslim without any reasons bemg assigned In village Daon- 
Vallo, District Sukkur, the Hmdus were asked to leave the village 
and go to a place of safety under police escort As soon as they 
had left, their houses were occupied by Muslim refugees who 
appropnated all the movable property left behind 



241 


Stem Reckoning 


An order was issued by the local authorities calling upon 
Hindu business men and moneylenders to deposit all ornaments 
and valuables which the Muslims had pawned with them. These 
were then returned to the Muslim owners without discharging the 
debts due from them. Bhoja Mai* a money lender of Dadu, had 
the temerity to ask for the payment of bis dues. He was attacked 
and made to read the Kalnia. He was then forced to drink cord 
from the same bowl as a Muslim and after this indignity be was 
told to go away Hindus everywhere were asked to contribute 
towards Mr Jmnahs Fund for the relief of refugees. In district 
Nawabshah, where Hindu oppression was at its wont, the 
District Magistrate declared that the Hind us must collect a sum of 
one lakh of rupees, otherwise they would not be allowed to leave 
the district. 

When a large scale exodus from the province began, the Gov 
eminent introduced a permit system. On February 15 1945 the 
Smd Government announced that no non Muslim would be allowed 
to leave unless he was m possession of a permit issued by the 
proper authority This led to gross abuse of powers and corruption 
on a very large scale. Only a limited number of permits was 
issued cadi day and the applicants had to pay heavily for them. 
Before a permit could be issued the intending emigrant had to pro- 
duce as many as eight certificates proving that he had discharged 
all his liabilities in Smd. This requirement promptcri'the. fyfuslims 
to lay false claims against the Hindus, which meant delay and 
the expenditure of more money for the Hindu had no other choice ^ 
but to pay the blackmailer and obtain a certificate of discharge. 
Even after securing a permit, the troubles of the Hindu emigrant 
were not ended. Ho had to bribe the booking clerk heavily to buy 
a railway ticket He was subjected to extensive searches and gross 
indignities. His womenfolk were undressed and searched under 
the gaze of men. The searchers took away valuables and orna 
ments without giving any receipt for them. In some cases even 
the food intended for consumption on the journey was taken away 
An inter Dominion agreement had been armed at that no searches 
would bo made and Mr Liaquat All Khan, the Prime Minister of 
Pakistan assured the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan that 
evacuees would not be searched. The searches, however continued 
and when the matter was brought to the notice of Mr Khurho 
the Sind Premier be said 14 1 do not agree with the Pakistan Gov 
eminent that no searches should bo made of the outgoing passen 



Smd 


249 


gers Their order seems to be unworkable as it would only mean 
putting a premium on dishonesty ” * This was the manner m 
which the mter-Domimon agreement was respected by the Pro- 
vincial Government In Nawabshah the District Magistrate 
announced that no Hindu could carry away more than ten rupees 
with him The luggage placed in the brake van was removed and, 
at the end of the journey, the owner found himself without any 
redress Muslims entered crowded compartments and drove the 
Hindu passengers out m order to make room for themselves and, 
m the process, deprived them of a part of their belongings Non- 
Muslim travellers were searched at several stages of their journey, 
and each time some part of their property was taken away Some- 
times when they arrived at their destination, they found them- 
selves dispossessed of everything they had except the clothes they 
wore Non-Muslims about to leave Refugee Camps in Karachi by 
boat were subjected to further searches A juggler w^s deprived 
of his entire apparatus although it was of no use to the searchers 
Large numbers of temples and places oh worship were dese- 
crated by Muslim hooligans In some cases the object was to loot, 
but more often the purpose was to give offence to the religious 
susceptibilities of the non-Muslims Images were broken and 
thrown out of temples The holy books were torn up, thrown m 
the mud and trampled upon In many cases they were set fire to 
and burnt If resistance was offered by the priest he was attacked 
and beaten and, in a few cases, murdered The Sikhs from whose 
hands the Muslim refugees appeared to have suffered most in 
East Punjab were made the special target of attack and there were 
few Gurdwaras which escaped the attention of the looters 

This state of affairs made life impossible for the non-Mushms 
in Smd Even where their life was safe their property and means 
of livelihood were taken away from them When they wanted to 
leave, mnumerable difficulties were placed in their way and en route 
they were subjected to all types of harassing indignities In this 
way the bulk of the non-Muslim population emigrated from Smd 
The figure given by the Pakistan Government in a communique 
published in the Hindustan Tunes m its issue of January 19, 1949, 
is 8,21,000. but it is estimated that out of 12 lakh non-Mushms, 
nearly 10 lakhs have already left and the exodus has not yet 
ended 


* Mr Kliurho was subsequently found suilty of hiving in his possession property 
stolen from non-Muslims 

17 



250 


Stern Reckoning 


Tin? loss of life in Sind was not on tho same scale a s in 
West Punjab and the North West Frontier Province but the num 
ber of murders, conversions and abductions was by no means 
inconsiderable. It is not possible to obtain exact figure* though 
tho murders must run into thousands and the number of persons 
forcibly converted to Islam cannot be less. The number of 
women abducted is probably not very large and the evidence of 
Hindu refugees shows that it was the poor labourers and Odds 
who suffered most m this respect In the urban area* there were 
numerous cases of dacomes, m the course of which murders were 
committed. Soon after the arrival of Muslim refugees from East 
Punjab crimes of violence increased rapidly Mention is made, 
m the evidence of refugees, of mamage parties being attacked 
and looted. These attacks were invariably accompanied by loss 
of life. Lorries of refugees leaving villages were waylaid and 
attacked. In the town of Dadu, five Hindu families were forcibly 
converted to Islam and paraded through the streets, in a pro- 
cession. There were a few attacks on trains involving loss of life. 
In village Madeju diptnet Sukiur a Muslim mob attacked a 
Hindu lorry murdering a number of persons. The culprits were 
identified and later apprehended by the police but then released, 
without further action being taken against them. The District 
Magistrate of Nawabsbah openly declared that he wanted to do 
something for the Muslim refugees, and this emboldened them 
to such an extent that they made indiscriminate attacks on the lives 
of Hindus. 

Particular mention must be made of the disturbances which 
took place in Quetta Hyderabad and Karachi. Quetta is in Balu- 
chistan but it is convenient to deal with that town in this chapter 

There was a general feeling of unrest m the minds of the 
Quetta Hindus but they decided to join hands with the Muslims 
m celebrating the establishment of Pakistan. On August 19 1947 
a number of Muslim refugees arrived in the town and tho stories 
of what they had been through greatly agitated the local Muslims. 
An extensive plan to attack Hindu houses was prepared and at 
about 9 pan. on the 20th a crowd of several thousand Muslims. 
drawn from among these refugees and the neighbouring villages, 
surrounded the entire town Rumours had been whispered 
through the town that such an attack was contemplated and some 
prominent Hindus brought the matter to the notice of the police. 
No steps, were however taken to prevent the massacre 



Sind 


251 


that followed Hindu houses all over the town were attacked, 
looted and burnt The rioting went on throughout the night and 
the Hindus suffered very heavy casualties There was a brief lull 
for about three hours on the morning of the 21st, and then at 
9 am the attack was resumed Large numbers of Hindus and 
Sikhs lost their lives Property worth over a crore of rupees was 
destroyed and it is estimated that more than a thousand persons 
were murdered On the afternoon of the 21st, the Dogra troops 
entered the town and controlled the situation 

When news of the massacre in Quetta reached Smd a panic 
spread among the Hindus Their fears were enhanced by a num- 
ber of robberies and assaults which appeared to have been 
inspired by the happenings in Quetta There was, however, no 
large-scale killing until December 17, 1947, when extensive not- 
ing broke out m the town of Hyderabad On December 16, 1947, 
a meetmg was held in Hyderabad at which speakers gave false and 
exaggerated accounts of the burning of Ajmer Sharif and the 
murder of hundreds of Muslims It was said that a tram carry- 
ing large numbers of Muslim corpses was due to amve at 
Hyderabad on the 17th A huge mob of Muslims gathered at 
the railway station before the arrival of the tram When the tram 
came it did not contam any corpses, but several Muslims who had 
come from Ajmer Sharif related their tales of suffering These 
stones worked up the frenzy of the Muslim mob who at once left 
the railway station and invaded the entire town and started kill- 
ing and looting Hindu property and schools were attacked and 
burnt It is estimated that over two hundred and fifty Hindus 
were killed m the course of this funous assault, while a thousand 
houses were looted It is stated that Qazi Mohammad Akbar, 
Parliamentary Secretary, also took part m the lootmg Hyderabad 
was a large and prosperous town with a majority of Hmdu popu- 
lation The busmess was almost entirely owned by Hindus 
who, therefore, suffered a great deal in this noting Trams of 
Hmdu refugees from the rural areas were attacked and looted 
The disturbance continued for several hours before it could be 
controlled 

These disorders in the southern districts of Smd compelled 
the non-Muslims to leave their homes, and large numbers of them 
arrived m Karachi on their way to the Indian Dominion Some 
had to go by tram, others by boat Some of them were living 
with fnends and relations in different parts of the city, while others 



252 


Stern Reckoning 


had been housed in temporary refugee camps. Towards the end 
of 1947 the city of Karachi was overcrowded with these evacuees. 
On the morning of January 6 1948 a party of S ikhs numbering 
between two and three hundred, including women and children 
arrived m Karachi This party had travelled under police escort 
but no information of their arrival was given to India s Deputy 
High Commissioner in Pakistan who was stationed at Karachi 
A mob of Punjabi Muslims saw the Sikhs arrive on the railway 
station and immediately showed signs of great agitation. The 
authorities responsible for keeping law and order displayed a 
reprebensivc degree of indifference in regard to the safety of these 
Sikhs and instead of conveying the Sikhs under strong police or 
military escort they sent them in open carnages to the Gurdwara 
of Ratan Talao which at this stage was surrounded by houses 
occupied by Muslim refugees. 

News of the arrival of these Sikhs spread throughout the city 
and, within a very short tune a large crowd of Sindhi and Pun 
jabi Muslims armed with hatchets swords knives crowbars and 
lathis arrived m front of the Gurdwara and began to stone it The 
Sikhs had locked themselves inside thp Gurdwara but some of the 
crowd scaled the walls and entered the Gurdwara compound. 
They however found further progress barred Tho Muslim 
neighbours on seeing this began to throw bags of live coal into 
the Gurdwara and soon the entire buiding was on fire Many of 
the Sikhs were burnt alive. Those who tried to escape by coming 
out were set upon by the mob and done to death At about 
1 30 p.m. while this wholly one sided battle was m progress the 
polk© arrived with two trucks in order to remove the S i khs 
from the Gurdwara. When the trucks were full the mob prevented 
the departure of tho trucks and all the passengers were butchered 
on the roadside. An eye witness stated “ The crowd tried to 
break open the doors (of the Gurdwara) but they could not do so 
There was one building m between the Gurdwara and the Ram 
Mandir and that building was occupied by Muslims. The inmates 
of that house threw coal bags from the top of the building m 
the Gurdwara compound for setting fire to it At this stage a 
party of twenty armed constables arrived on the scene and asked 
the mob to disperse but the crowd refused to do so The police 
kept silent” Another eye witness stated 44 At about 1 30 p-UL, 
when this bloodshed was going on inside the Gurdwara, the police 
officials tned to remove the Sikhs m two trucks but the goondas 
did not allow the trucks to go and broke open the doors and 



Smd 


253 


windows and started killing them in the trucks under the very 
nose of the police ” 

The rioting continued in front of the Gurdwara till after 
2pm and the hooligans carried away a number of girls from the 
spot The mob was not pacified by this massacre , in fact, their 
frenzy increased and they rushed into other quarters of the city 
shouting “Kill the kafirs Kill the Hindus Loot the kafirs ” 
The hooligans indulged m an orgy of indiscriminate stabbing and 
killing and many innocent women and children lost their hves in 
the course of the afternoon A mob went to the railway station 
and attacked Hindu passengers Some men entered the house of 
a Gujerati Hindu and earned away three young girls Their 
mother was so overcome with grief that she picked up her two 
infant children who had been left behind and jumped from the 
balcony of her house All three were killed instantaneously The 
father was thrown down from the same balcony by the hooligans 
and he met the same fate" Some goondas were seen attacking a 
young boy of seven They stabbed him and then tearing his legs 
apart threw the pieces of bleeding flesh on the ground Dharma- 
salas and refugee camps containing large numbers of Hindus 
were attacked The inmates were murdered and looted and a 
number of young girls were abducted, women were raped and 
subjected to horrible tortures 

At the railway station, the Hmdu passengers, waiting on the 
platforms and arriving by trams, passed through a terrible ordeal 
As soon as a train arrived, murderous-looking individuals sur- 
rounded it and started stabbing and looting Hmdu passengers 
The Hindus rushed into the waiting rooms but there, too, they- 
were not safe A big Zemindar of Smd who was formerly a 
member of the Legislative Assembly arrived m Karachi that 
morning and, when he saw the tram being attacked by Muslim 
goondas, he took out his gun to defend himself A Sub-Inspectoi 
of Police arrived and took away the gun from him, saying that 
he had left his own behind The Sub-Inspector then disappeared 
with the gun and the Muslim crowd attacked the Zemindar’s car- 
riage and carried away his entire luggage The Hmdus, marooned 
m the waiting rooms, could not get food or drink and policemen 
posted to protect them charged as much as a rupee for a glass of 
water 

The temples and Gurdwaras m the city were attacked and 
desecrated Guru Ramdas Durbar, the Jagannath Temple, the 
Chidan Kashi Mandir, the temple of Bhai Vassyaram, the temple 



254 


Stern Reckoning 


of Guru Nauak. the Gurdwara near Rambaugh Gam Khata, the 
temples of Hanumanji in Ranch ore Lines the Sitla Mandir on 
Lawrence Road the Jethmal Gurdwara in Gam Khata the Swami 
N a rain Temple the Bhagnan Temple and the Sharda Mandir 
were all attacked and wherever the mob could find any holy books 
they tore them or set fire to them. 

In these disturbances the goonda element predominated but 
there is unimpeachable evidence showing the participation of 
large numbers of persons belonging to the middle classes. Even 
Government officials took part m the plunder Well-dressed men 
were seen going about looting Hindu shops and bouses and 
carrying away whatever could be of use to them. Members of 
the Pakistan Secretariat staff were subsequently found in posses 
sion of large quantities of looted property There was consider 
able agitation against the action of Government in searching the 
houses of these officials and a deputation on their behalf repre 
sen ted to the Pakistan Authorities the unwisdom of this seemingly 
pro Hindu conduct 

The noting in Karachi continued for two days before the 
fury of the mob was spent No accurate estimate of the casualties 
is possible. Several lorry loads of dead bodies were taken to 
the cremation ground piled up in heaps, sprayed with petrol and 
burnt The number of those lolled cannot have been less than 
three hundred and the number of injured about twice this number 

The events m Sind show that apart from the massacres of 
Hyderabad and Karachi there was no large-scale or organized 
attempt on the part of the Smd Muslims to exterminate the Hindus. 
The insidious propaganda which the League leaders had been 
carrying on throughout India for a number of years had made 
the Muslims arrogant and hostile towards the Hindus. Ths 
propaganda, coming at a time when the spirit of lawlessness had 
spread throughout Sind, gave rise to a feeling of insecurity and 
tins further emboldened the Muslims. The prospect of loot and 
financial gam made them callous and regardless of the Hindu 
sufferings. The arrival of the Muslim refugees from East Punjab 
acted as a spark on this mass of inflammable material and set 
the whole province ablaze. In the southern districts, murders 
dacoities and robberies with violence were on a much larger scalo 
than in the northern districts where the hooligans mostly confined 
themselves to looting the property of the Hindus and driving 
them away from their homes. 




Last cams Anarchy ht rods 
On a ichit* horse splashed t pith blood 
He was pale even to the Ups 
Like Death in the Apocalypse. 

And he wore a kingly crown 
And in hi* prosy a sceptre shone 
On hit broic thij mark J saw — 

I AM GOD AND KING AND LAW J 
And a mighty troop around, 

WUh their trampling shook the ground. 

Waving each a bloody sword 
For the service of their Lord. 

And each dweller panic-stricken 
Felt his heart with terror sicken 
Hearing the tempestuous cry 
Of the triumph of Anarchy 
Then all cried with one accord 
Thou art King and God and Lord 
.Anarchy to thee we bow 
Be thy name made holy note I 
And Anarchy the Skeleton, 

Bowed and grinned to every one. 

Percy Bream: Shelltt — The Mask of Anarchy 



258 


Stem Reckoning 


lucrative and they wielded greater financial power They paid 80 
per cent of the total income tax of the province 

Life m the Pa than country is hard and economically 
precarious Food is scarce and industrial occupation is negligible. 
Scarcely one fourth of the total province is under cultivation. To 
earn a living by productive effort is not always easy Agn culture, 
fruit farming trade and ordnance factories both licit and illicit, 
do not provide employment for all, and a considerable proportion 
of the population lives on blackmail hush money kidnapping 
fees money lending and looting. Primitive, illiterate and ungovern- 
able the Pa than is singularly susceptible to catch phrases and 
slogans 

This malleab'e and inflammable material was subjected during 
recent years to two distinct and opposing forces. The two Khan 
brothers. Dr Khan Sahib and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, strove 
to shape the Pa than ideology m the mould of Gandhian ethics and 
achieved a remarkable degree of success. Dr Khan Sahib as the 
head of three Congress Ministries piloted the province through 
some difficult times while his younger brother Khan Abdul 
Ghaffar Khan, a rich landlord, who give up a We of luxury and 
ease, organized the Red Shirt movement The " Red Shirts ” was 
the popular name of the army of Khudai Khidmatgars who wore 
a distinctive red-coloured shirt and pledged themselves to peace 
non vio’ence and public service They were followers of Gandhiji 
whom they referred to as “ Malang Baba.” * Their numbers ran 
into thousands and their leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan or 
Bad shah Khan, as he was sometimes called soon came to be known 
as the Frontier Gandhi. The manner m which thousands of unruly 
and turbulent Pathans accepted the creed of ahlmsa and practised 
it evoked the wonder and admiration of all and It was said that 
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan had worked a veritable miracle m the 
Frontier The Red Shirts remained non violent under the gravest 
provocation and on, at least one occasion brought peace to the city 
of Peshawar at a most critical moment 

The other force at work was the sinister Influence of the 
Muslim League exercised through Sardar Aurangzeb Khan and 
Abdul Rab Nish tar assisted by the local British and Muslim 
officials. During the election campaign of 1937 these officials 
opposed the Congress Party and the Khudai Khidmatgars in every 







North-West Fiontier Province 


259 


conceivable manner Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Pandit Nehru, 
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Bhulabhai Desai were not allowed 
to enter the province The nomination papers of Khudai Khid- 
matgar candidates were rejected by Returning Officers on scarcely 
tenable technical grounds “A Deputy Commissioner forcibly 
prevented the voters from going to cast their votes with the result 
that about six hundred people could not record their verdict 
Another officer, m charge of conducting the elections throughout 
the province, openly conspired with the rivals of the Congress 
and helped them to choose places and dates of polling, and gave 
a free hand to the Polling Officers to act in their interests ” * 

It is to be remembered that the Governor and the officials 
of the North-West Frontier Province exercised dual functions In 
respect ot the non-tribal areas the officials were under the 
Ministry, and the Governor acted through his Ministers In res- 
pect of the tribal area, however, the Governor acted as the agent 
of the Governor-General and was not answerable to the Ministry 
in power The officials also acted independently of the Ministry 
Thus a Secretary was answerable to the Ministry for acts and 
orders relating to the non-tribal area, but he was answerable only 
to the Governor (as agent to the Governor-General) for all acts 
and orders relating to the tribal area This somewhat anomalous 
position placed the majority of the officials beyond the strict con- 
trol of the Ministry and enabled them to take an active part m 
supporting the League agitation 

So strong, however, was the hold of the Congress over the 
Pathan mind that no Muslim Leaguer was returned to the first 
elected Legislature Mr Jinnah paid a visit to the province, but 
his cries of appeal fell on deaf ears In his own words he “ was, 
to put in one word, dismissed from the Province ”t Thus, until 
1938, there was no Muslim League Party m the Provincial Legis- 
lative Assembly In January of that year several Muslim agita- 
tors, including Maulana Zafar Ah Khan and Maulana Shaukat 
Ah Khan, were sent to the North-West Frontier Province and 
their efforts succeeded in winning a measure of support for the 
Muslim League Eight members of the Assembly elected on the 
Independent ticket formed themselves mto a nucleus of the Mus- 
lim League Party m the Legislature and, by the end of 1945, 
their number had swelled to eighteen This figure fell to seventeen 


* Frontier Speaks ” Mohammed Yunus 1942 
t Pakistan Times April 20 1948 



260 


Stem Reckoning 


after the General Elections of 1945-46 At about this time Sardar 
Aurangzeb Khan lost the active support of the League High 
Command, owing to his incompetence and inability to deal with 
corruption and maladministration and Khan Abdul Qaiyum 
Khan, originally a staunch nationalist and Deputy Leader erf the 
Congress Party m the Central Legislature came into prominence 
as a leader of the Muslim League Party He u the present* 
Premier of the North West Frontier Province. 

Wo shall presently see what results were brought about by 
these two opposing forces and m what manner but for the cor 
rect appreciation of these matters it is necessary to review briefly 
the recent political events in the Frontier 

The Government of India Act of 1935 provided for a Provin 
ctnl Legislature of fifty members The first elections under the 
Act were held in 1937 and the party position was as follows 
Congress 19 (including 15 Muslims) Hindu and Sflch Nationalist 
Party 7 and Independents 24 (including 21 Muslims) The Con- 
gress Party did not come forward to form a Ministry at once as 
negotiations between the Congress High Command and the British 
Government regarding the exact position of the Provincial Cover 
nors in administrative matters were proceeding and Sir George 
Cunningham the Governor of the North West Frontier Province 
invited Nawabzada Sir Abdul Qayyum to form a Ministry This 
invitation was accepted. Sir Abdul Qayyum was able to secure 
the support of some independent members and the Hindu and 
Sikh members of the Nationalist Party The Ministry however did 
not command a majority in the Assembly and Sir Abdul 
Qayyum s tenure of office was very brief For some months the 
Assembly was not convened but as soon as it met, a no-confidence 
motion tabled by Dr Khan Sahib on September 3 1937 was 
earned by twenty seven votes to twenty two Four days later 
Dr Khan Sahib formed a new Ministry and this remained in office 
till October 1939 Its achievements during this brief period of a 
little over two years included the abolition of the institution of 
Honorary Magistrates and the removal of Zafldars and Muafidars. 
These individuals had constituted a body of corrupt sycophantic 
supporters of the British officials and their dismissal depnved the 
bureaucracy of a permanent and reliable instrument of their 
designs. Their own discontent made them walk into the League 
camp.f 


1M9 

t Scti no** ta I. PMC 317 



North-West Frontier Province 


261 


After the declaration of war, the Congress High Command 
issued instructions to all the Congress Ministries to resign Dr 
Khan Sahib’s Ministry complied with this order and the Governor 
took over the administration of the province under the provisions 
of section 93, Government of India Act of 1935 This state of 
affairs continued till May 25, 1943 The proclamation under sec- 
tion 93 was then revoked and the Governor invited Sardar 
Aurangzeb Khan to form a Ministry During the movement of 
1942, ten members of the Congress Party in the Provincial Legis- 
lature had been arrested and imprisoned Six of these were later 
released The Ministry formed by Sardar Aurangzeb Khan did 
not command a majority but the Congress Party, attenuated by 
the incarceration of four members and the indisposition of one 
more who was in hospital, did not take any part m the Assembly 
proceedings and remained absent from the autumn session of 
1943 The position of the minority Ministry was somewhat pre- 
carious and it felt compelled to offer the bribe of money and 
office to its supporters Its first Legislative Act was to pass a Bill 
increasing the salaries of the Ministers to almost three times the 
previous amount The number of Ministers was increased from 
three to five, and seven of its supporters were given various other 
posts as Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Parliamentary Secretaries 

These artificial props, however, did not succeed m keeping 
the Ministry long m power and on March 12, 1945, Dr Khan 
Sahib again tabled a no-confidence motion agamst the Ministry 
and this motion was carried by twenty-four votes to eighteen 
He had received instructions from the Congress High Command 
to accept office and form a Ministry after the defeat of the Aurang- 
zeb Khan Cabinet The strength of the ministerial party at this 
time was twenty-seven The Muslim League Party, as stated 
above, numbered eighteen General elections were agam held in 
1945-46 and these elections witnessed the activities of the alliance 
formed between the Muslim League and the officials Mr Jmnah 
again visited the province A number of students from Aligarh 
were sent to preach communal hatred The Congress voters were 
threatened and intimidated by Police and Civil officials Khan 
Abdul Ghaffar Khan said “ I know for certain that women voters 
m the constituency of Qazi Attaullah Khan, Education Minister, 
were waylaid by certain armed goondas and, even when they 
managed to reach the polling booth, they were not permitted to 
poll Because of this about three hundred ladies could not vote 
Similarly, another of our candidates was deprived of about four 



262 


Stem Reckoning 


hundred votes in Razzar Constituency In one constituency the 
ballot box of the Congress candidate had been broken-”* In spite 
of these efforts the Congress was victorious at the polls. The 
party strength was Congress 30 Muslim League 17 Jamlat-ul 
Ulema i Hind (Nationalist Muslims supporting the Congress pro- 
gramme) 2 and A kali 1 The voting showed that only 25 per cent 
of the total electorate voted for the Muslim League. The Congress 
defeated the Muslim League candidate in ax many as nineteen 
contests while the Congress suffered a defeat in eight cases only 

The Congress with a clear majority in the new Legislature, 
now formed a Ministry under the leadership of Dr Khan Sahib 
and remained m office until August 22 1947 Mr Jmnah wanted 
Lord Mountbatton to make the Ministry resign. Sir Olaf Caroe 
who was then the Provincial Governor did his best to make 
Dr Khan Sahib give up office He called Dr Khan Sahib on 
March 18 1947 and referred to the presence of a large number 
of Red Shirts m Peshawar m most deprecating terms A few 
days later he summoned the Cabinet and said, “ The Englishman 
who did not allow the reforms to be Introduced into the North- 
West Frontier Province in 1920 was a fool He sent the Pathans 
into the Congress arms. I shall see that this mistake is rectified ” 
He added that, since the last elections, the Muslim League had 
gained strength m the province and therefore the Assembly and 
the Ministry no longer represented the people. He asked Dr 
Khan Sahib to form a Coalition Government with the Muslim 
League and ended by making a categorical demand “ Coalition 
Cabinet or general elections.* 1 The Ministry refused to choose 
either alternative and this was the beginning of an open war 
between Sir Ola! Caroe and Dr Khah Sahib s Ministry 

To resolve this impasse and carry out the plan of making the 
Frontier Province accede to Pakistan the device of holding a 
referendum was adopted Ordinarily the Provincial Assembly 
should have been asked to deckle this issue. Mr Jmnah and the 
British Government, however took the view that the Assembly did 
not represent the people of the Frontier Province and therefore, 
a referendum was necessary The Pathan leaders wanted the issue 
of Pathanistan to go before the electorate so that the Pathans could 
decide whether (a) to accede to Hindustan (Z>) to accede to Pakis 
tan or (c) to remain independent of either Dominion. The Viceroy 
however refused to offer the alternative of Pathanistan and in the 

“ The pM^n vote) tnbt IHkUan." Con*ro« Ce»Ml Election 
No. It 



Noith-West Fiontiei Province 


263 


referendum the only issues were India or Pakistan The Red 
Shirts and the Congress Party boycotted the referendum and the 
result was overwhelmingly in favour of Pakistan It is to be 
observed, however, that the number of voters who went to the 
polls was less than fifty-one per cent of the total electorate * 
The usual Muslim League methods were adopted during this 
referendum The Pir of Manki Sharif or Manki Mullah, as he 
was called, assisted by 'a number of fanatical Maulvis, conducted 
a most virulent propaganda among the electors Accession to 
India was interpreted as being synonymous with subordination to 
Hmdu Raj, umslamic conduct and heresy It is to be remembered 
that this referendum was held m an atmosphere of heat and poison 
brought about by months of communal bitterness and noting The 
susceptibilities of the ignorant and emotional Pathan were played 
upon and he was told that he had to choose between the Quran 
and the Gita Men in burqa, posing as women, went to the polling 
booths over and over again and helped to swell the number of 
actual votes cast The result was thus a foregone conclusion 

With the creation of Pakistan, Mr Jmnah had obtamed from 
Lord Mountbatten special powers as Governor-General of Pakistan 
to dismiss Provincial Ministries t Withm a week of assuming 
office he had recourse to these powers and Dr Khan Sahib’s 
Ministry was dismissed on August 22, 1947 Khan Abdul Qaiyum 
Khan then formed a purely Muslim League Ministry although he 
was still m a minority + 

# # * 

The noting, killing and other anti-Hindu activities m the 
North-West Frontier passed through three successive phases , (1) 
from the beginning of 1946 till about the third week of February 

* The total electorate of the North-West Frontier Province consisted of 572 798 and 
of these only 289 244 voted for Pakistan 

t The Pakistan (Provincial Constitution) Order 1947 (Notification No G G O 22 
published in the Gazelle of India Extraordinary dated the 14th August 1947) amended sub- 
section (5) of section 51 of the Government of India Act 1935 to read " (5) In the 
exercise of his functions under this secuon with respect to choosing and summoning and 
the dismissal of ministers the Governor shall be under the general control of and comply 
with such particular directions. If any as may from time to time be given to him by 
the Governor-General 

t Dr Khan Sahib gave the following account of this unsavoury episode 

Before August 15 1947 Mr Jinnah tried to persuade Lord Mountbatten to make 
the Frontier Ministry resign and several times the then Governor of the North-West 
Frontier Province Sir Olaf Caroe personally asked me to either tender resignation or take 
one Muslim League member in the Cabinet which I of course refused as I was 
constitutionally installed as the Premier of the majority party in the legislature This 
attempt having failed Mr Jinnah tried again to prevail on Lord Mountbatten to dismiss 
the Ministry This time the matter was referred to the then Secretary of State for India 
who refused to take such steps on the g-ound that it would be unconstitutional to interfere 
with the majority Ministry After August 15 the newly appointed Governor, Sir George 
Cunningham at once called upon me to resign which I flatly refused as on past occasions 
As a sequel to this finally the unconstitutional step was taken by the Governor-General of 
Pakistan and my Ministry was straightaway dismissed Hindustan Times, June 24 1948 



264 


Stern Reckoning 


1947 (2) from February 20 1947 till August 22, 1947 and 
(3) from August 22 1947 till the beginning of 1948 

The defeat of the Muslim League m the general elections of 
February 1946 had given nse to a feeling of frustration and the 
chagrin of the League leaders was intensified when the Congress 
formed an Interim Government at the Centre on September 2 1946 
The Muslim Leaguers started a vigorous propaganda against the 
Sikhs the khudai Khidmatgars and the Congress They proclaimed 
that “ Hindu Nehru” was responsible for the bombing of the 
Wazin Tribes and that the Khudai Khidmatgars owed their victory 
to the support of the infidel Hindu When Pandit Nehru announced 
his intention of visiting the Frontier the League Party conducted 
an intensive campaign throughout the province Sir Olaf Caroe 
had advised Pandit Nehru not to visit the Frontier but his advice 
was not accepted. Subsequent eventi showed that Sir Olaf did 
not disapprove of the League activities agaipst him. Pandit Nehru 
was described as the murderer of the Muslims m Calcutta and 
when he arrived at the Peshawar aerodrome he was confronted 
by a violent and hostile demonstration led by no less a person than 
Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan the erstwhile Deputy Leader of the 
Congress Party at the Centre.* On the eve of bis visit to the 
Khyber Agency the Pir of Manki Sharif made a speech at Jamrud 
in which he mated the Afndu not to ’et the murderer of Muslims 
return alive Pandit Nehru was met with hostile demonstrations 
organized by the Muslim League wherever he went and it was the 
influence of the Khan brothers and their vigilance that prevented 
the mischievous elements from doing any harm to his person. 
The tribal areas were as has been pointed out above under the 
direct control of the Provincial Governor and be was responsible 
for controlling or inspiring these disturbances. 

Soon after Pandit Nehru t visit, the news of the unfortunate 
happenings m Bihar arrived and this gave further opportunity to 
the {Muslim Leaguers to intensify their campaign agnkfrst the 
Khudai Khidmatgars and the non Muslims. Batches of Muslim 
Leaguers from all over the province and the tribal area were sent 
to Bihar to see things for themselves What had happened In 
Bihar was gruesome enough but these Muslim Leaguer*, on their 
return gave accounts which were grossly exaggerated and distorted 
They took out processions shouting “ Bihar ka badla Sarhad men 
leynge (“We will avenge Bihar in the Frontier”) and Khoon 

Tht PirmfaT of ih« Non±>-\Vc« Frtwricr Prtnhn. 



North-West Frontier Province 


265 


ka badla khoon ” (“Blood will be avenged by blood ”) Some 
processionists marched through Hazara, exhibiting a number of 
skulls which they said were the remains of Muslims murdered m 
Bihar They showed photographs of atrocities committed m Bihar, 
blood-stained clothes of children and tom and mutilated leaves of 
the Quran It has been said that the skulls exhibited by the 
processionists were dug out of local graveyards The exhibition, 
however, had the desired effect of arousing the bitterest type of 
communal feelings A khoom nmshaira (blood recital) was held 
in a hall, the entrance of which was decorated with human skulls 
and bones A portrait of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan at one of 
Gandhiji’s meetings was exhibited and it was pointed out that a 
Muslim was worshipping a Hindu Bama It was said that he 
had committed a sin against God m allowing his son, Gham, to 
marry a Parsi woman who was a fire-worshipper Dr Khan Sahib 
was maligned m a similar manner and the people were reminded 
that his daughter, Mariam, had married an Indian Christian Bricks, 
said to belong to a mosque m Bihar which had been desecrated 
and demolished by Hindu rioters, were carried about and shown 
around These demonstrations could not but result m arousing the 
wrath of the excitable Pathans beyond control 

Rioting began m a number of villages of the Hazara District 
in the beginning of December 1946 Oghi, Shamdhara, Batal, 
Balakot, Patan Kalan, Rangaryal, Manakrai, Bairkund and some 
other villages were attacked by the Muslim mobs The Hindu 
population of these villages was small and quite unable to defend 
itself The Hindu and Sikh shops were looted and set fire to In 
some villages a few non-Muslims were murdered There were in- 
stances of desecration of Gurdwaras and temples, but the energies 
of the Muslim mobs were concentrated chiefly on looting and burn- 
ing The disturbances spread to the hilly tracts of the district 
round about Nathia Galli and contmued through the month of 
January 1947 Rajoia, a village ten miles from Abottabad, was 
attacked on January 1, and about eighty shops and houses, 
belonging to non-Muslims, were looted and burnt Havehan 
was attacked on January 2, and the temples and Gurdwaras were 
plundered Mon, Manshera, Nambal, Patan Khurd and Muha were 
also attacked, in a similar manner, durmg the month of January 
1947 A Sikh woman whose husband was murdered by the noters 
was abducted in the end of December, and forcibly mamed to a 
Muslim The matter was reported to the authonties and a Muslim 
18 



266 


Stem Reckoning 


Magistrate was appointed to examine the woman As the result of 
the statement made by her Dr Khan Sahib directed that the woman 
should be returned to her relations. This naturally caused resentment 
among the kidnappers and agitation was started against Dr Khan 
Sahib At about this time a number of by-elections m Hazara 
District had resulted m the victory of the Muslim League candi 
dates and, to celebrate this victory a procession was taken out m 
the town of Mardan. The processionists went to the residence 
of the Deputy Commissioner and demanded the return of the 
Sikh girl who had been restored to her relations. The Deputy 
Commissioner promulgated an order prohibiting processions and 
public speeches under section 144 Criminal Procedure Code. 
Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan defied this order and addressed the 
Muslim League procession He was arrested on February 20 
1947 and this circumstance was utilized by the Leaguers in 
mating further opposition to Dr Khan Sahib s Ministry A 
large mob attacked the residence of Dr Khan Sahib in Peshawar 
and threw stones at it Dr Khan Sahib himself escaped but his 
son m law was injured 

The districts of Hazara and Dera Ismail Khan constitute the 
non Pushto-speaking areas and in these two districts the Punjabi 
influence predominates whereas m the remaining districts of the 
province which constitute the Pushto-speaking area the Congress 
had a strong hold over the Pathans. The Muslim League was 
therefore strongest in the districts of Hazara and Dera Ismail 
Khan and the noting in these two distnets was much more violent 
than in the other districts Hitherto trouble had been con 
fined mainly to the district of Hazara although there had been 
stray incidents in Kohat in which district the village Toghbala 
was attacked by a Muslim mob in the month of January The 
civil disobedience movement, started by the Muslim League 
towards the end of February 1947 began to poison the atmos- 
phere m the entire province and disturbances were witnessed in 
almost all the distnets. A number of stabbing and shooting ind 
dents took place m the aty and cantonments of Peshawar in the 
beginning of March. In the neighbouring villages the Muslim 
Leaguers had begun to convert Hindus to Islam and many of 
them had to be evacuated under military escort The news 
of these happenings brought about a state of panic among the 
non Muslim residents of Peshawar For ten days they remained 
confined to their houses and did not dare to venture out in the 
streets The Provincial Assembly was at the time holding its 



/ 




A itreet in Dtra Itmail Khan 



Notth-West Frontier Province 


267 


Budget Session The Ministry felt that if they took any drastic 
action the Governor might take the extreme step of dissolving the 
Assembly They, therefore, kept their counsel until the budget 
was passed Then they held a secret meeting and decided to call 
m the assistance of the Red Shirts Whips were sent out in the 
evening and by the next morning ten thousand Red Shirts had 
arrived m Peshawar They were posted throughout the city and 
their presence brought confidence to the people and normal 
conditions were restored 

In April 1947, Dera Ismail Khan was m flames On the 
14th and 15th attacks were made on the villages surrounding the 
town of Dera Ismail Khan and, on the 15th, a large mob invaded 
the city and began to loot and set fire to the non-Muslim shops 
and houses The entire non-Muslim population withdrew and 
entrenched themselves in a distant quarter of the city from where 
they watched the destruction of their property in helpless despair 
The assault continued for three whole days and it is estimated 
that about twelve hundred shops owned by non-Muslims were 
destroyed This devastating attack reduced the city to a smoulder- 
ing ruin at the end of three days Attacks on other villages m 
the district followed and m some cases the entire non-Muslim 
population was killed or forcibly converted Kulachi, a Tehsil 
headquarter town where about two thousand non-Muslims resided, 
was attacked by a mob of several thousands on April 22 The 
Frontier Constabulary present in the town did nothing to help or 
protect the non-Muslims and allowed the mob to loot and burn 
their houses On May 2, Kulachi was again attacked by a Mus- 
lim mob led by a member of the Frontier Legislative Assembly 
and a Sub-Inspector of Police Durmg this month a number of 
villages m Kohat District was attacked by Muslim mobs The 
casualties m these villages were not large because the number of 
non-Muslims was extremely small These unfortunate people found 
themselves entirely at the mercy of the attackers and, when asked 
to embrace Islam, saw no other alternative but to submit The 
non-Muslim residents of Kalagoth, on hearing of the trouble at 
Dera Ismail Khan, left their village m a body on April 16, 1947. 
They were, however, waylaid and attacked They ran back to 
their village, pursued by the Muslims who burnt their houses and 
plundered the village Gurdwara Village Paroa was attacked on 
April 15 and the attack contmued through the night The non- 
Muslim residents of the village tned to defend themselves as best 
they could The attack was repeated the next night when the 



268 


Stem Reckoning 


Muslim mobs succeeded m breaking open a number of houses. 
On April 22 the police brought Iomcs m order to evacuate the 
non Muslims The lorries were attacked by a mob of Pathans 
who killed twelve Hindus and injured fifteen. In village Mai ana 
about sixty non Muslim families lived. The village was attacked 
on April 15 Sixty houses and shops were looted and burnt and 
fifty two persons were killed by a Muslim mob It will be tire- 
some to repeat instances but there is overwhelming evidence to 
prove that almost every village m the district, containing non 
Muslims, was attacked and looted m this way 

For some weeks there was comparative peace although stray 
attacks in towns and villages continued. For instance, village 
Lachi in district kohat was attacked m the month of May VII 
lage Tell m Wazinstan was attacked in June and in the same 
month a number of Hindus who left village Thai by train were 
attacked by a Muslim mob Forty persons were killed and five 
women were abducted Village Ambar Kalan in district Hazara 
was attacked in the end of July But the efforts of Dr Khan 
Sahib s Ministry were to some extent, responsible for stemming the 
tide of lawlessness 

On August 15 1947 Pakistan was established, and Mr 
Jinnah found himself possessed with powers to dismiss a recal 
entrant Congress Ministry As soon as Khan Abdul Gaiyum 
Khan was installed in office he began a virulent propaganda 
against the non Muslims. Exaggerated accounts of the events m 
East Punjab and the atrocities to which the Muslims had been 
subjected were spread throughout the province m orJer to arouse 
the passions of the Pathans. A deputation of the Muslim 
Leaguers was sent to East Punjab and the accounts which they 
gave on their return aggravated the situation In the last week 
of August noting on a very large scale broke out in the town of 
Haripur Almost the entire Hindu property in the town was 
destroyed The Hmdu population numbering several thousands 
was taken to a refugee camp but the camp was attacked by Mus 
Inns and three hundred refugees were killed The temples and 
Gurdwaras m Hanpur were sacked and burnt On August 27 
village Lalogali m district Hazara was attacked and the Hindus 
were forcibly converted to Islam. Trouble spread to other districts' 
and to Wazinstan. The influence of the Khudai Khld 
matgarc m Bannu and in Mardan and Cbarxadda Tchslls was 
strong and there the disturbances did not assume large propor 
lions In the beginning of September arson, looting and killing 



Noith-West Fiontiei Piovmce 


269 


started in Peshawar City The attack this time was more deter- 
mined and the Red Shirts could not come to the rescue The 
assault began with the usual stories, spread by the Muslim 
Leaguers, that a mob of Sikhs had collected to attack the Muslims 
Tn order to ward off this attack the Muslims were asked to arm 
and collect themselves m large numbers The mob then pro- 
ceeded against the imagmay Sikh assailants and attacked the 
suburbs of Peshawar They invaded the city and went about loot- 
ing burning and killing Some of the rioters were seen going 
about in jeeps and cars Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan, the Premier, 
had to go to Rawalpindi to meet the West Punjab Premier and 
noting began soon after he left Peshawar on September 7 The 
following is an account given by an official of the Government of 
India posted at Peshawar at the time 

“ Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan could hardly have left Pesha- 
war when Leaguers went about m a car m Peshawar City 
proclaiming that a Sikh regiment was going to attack Muslims 
Similar emissaries went about in different parts of Peshawar Can- 
tonment and adjoining villages on cycles, asking people to come 
out with guns and pistols to repel the Sikh attack It was a Sun- 
day and the shops were closed Panic-stricken Hindus and Sikhs 
ran to their houses and shut themselves up in their mohallas and 
blocks The myth of a Sikh attack has invariably been the signal 
for the butchery of minorities m the Frontier On many occa- 
sions this false alarm has been successfully used, and the mino- 
rities in Peshawar at once sensed that the fateful hour had arrived 

“ In the Cantonment, police guards at Salwan Refugee Camp 
and some other prominent shops and houses at once fled to the 
police station at this false alarm signal To appeals from 
Hindus and Sikhs for posting of police and military and enforce- 
ment of curfew, the only answer given by the authorities was that 
Sikh and Muslim troops were fighting among themselves and all 
the force available was occupied there This was again a myth 
which has been exploded by the military spokesman in New 
Delhi 

“ Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan has been loud m proclaiming to 
the outside world that enemies of Pakistan, 1 e , Khudai Khid- 
matgars and Zalm-i-Pukhtoon, were responsible for the circulation 
of this false rumour But his own clerk who answered the tele- 
phone call on the 7th, in his absence, repeated the story of Sikh 
and Muslim troops having clashed The Deputy Commissioner 
and the Inspector-General of Police could not be contacted on the 



270 


Stem Reckoning 


telephone They were all out Bat their clerks and orderlies who 
answered the telephone further harped on the same theme. 

'* Asked whether Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan had been 
informed about the situation that was developing, his Personal 
Assistant replied that it was for the Cl D to do so 

Thus the field was left open for the goondas to start murder 
and arson Curfew was not even formally imposed till 5-30 pun. 
The forces of law and order were either away from the scene or 
acted as full fledged partisans Little boys, servants and malls 
of Government officers, sweepers and nff raff in the cantonments 
absolutely unarmed, were seen breaking open the locks of shops 
and helping themselves to the goods while constables stood gossip- 
ing here and there Occasionally they claimed their share of the 
loot when they saw something attractive 

As the news of this universal loot spread to the adjoining 
villages League Khans got mto their care with armed servants and 
earned back cart loads of looted property Withm a couple of 
hours threatening armed gangs from the neighbouring villages 
entered the City and Cantonments. They were guided by police or 
some local Leaguers to Hindu and Sikh shops. They broke open 
the locks by firing shots and escaped with Jony loads of goods 
** More gruesome tragedies happened in the Civil Quarters and 
Railway Quarters where Hindu and Sikh Government servants 
along with thar women and children were done to death. 

For nearly twelve hours the non Mush ms fought the ruffians 
heroically while flames enveloped them and bullets were being 
showered on them Some brave women committed suidde. Hie 
Civil Quarters are a stone s-throw from the Lmes of the Frontier 
Constabulary Wc cannot believe that the authorities were 
unaware of these happenings Curfew was imposed at 5 30 pm. 
The Deputy Commissioner himself told one of us on the telephone 
at about 6 pm. that unfortunately there had been considerable 
loss of life in the Cantonments. The mob at the Civil Quarters 
was not very big. It Is difficult to understand why no effort was 
made by him to rescue the non Muslims till one of them managed 
to escape and knocked for help at his bungalow at about 10 pm. 

"In spite of the curfew tin Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan 
arrived at 5 pm. on Monday the 8th loot, arson and murder went 
on unchecked. Fire consumed a part of the city Shots rang on 
all sides. League minded Muslim shopkeepers dumped the looted 



North-West Frontier Province 


271 


property m their shops and houses to be cleared at night by lorries, 
trucks, tongas and carts 

“ While the Delhi Cloth Mills shop in Peshawar Cantonments 
was being looted at 1 pm on Monday the 8th, during curfew 
hours, both the West Police Station and the Deputy Commissioner 
were informed on the telephone of this happening Military- arrived 
on the spot and saw that bales were being removed But after 
some ‘ chitchat ’ with the ringleaders they went away So did 
the police 

“ The Private Secretary to the Governor was informed of the 
situation on the telephone on the 7th, i e , Sunday evening. His 
reply was ‘ What can H B do? Ask the police ’ The Chief Secre- 
tary gave the same reply on the 10th morning 

“ It is difficult to assess the total number of deaths and the 
loss of property Dead bodies were being removed from isolated 
houses m Cantonments for many days after these happenings 
Conditions for several weeks did not permit free movement on the 
part of any member of the minorities Two Hindus were shot dead 
in the city when they went from the refugee camp to their shops 
to collect their goods, a few days after the loot ” 

With the arrival of the Premier in Peshawar on the 8th even- 
ing, the situation was to some extent controlled, but this only 
diverted the attack from Peshawar to Nowshera where trouble 
broke out the same day Nowshera Cantonment was attacked by 
a large riotous mob In Nowshera the non-Muslims are in a majo- 
rity but they found themselves helpless when assaulted suddenly 
by a furious armed mob A number of bungalows and houses 
were set on fire When the residents tried to escape they were 
shot dead In one house a number of persons were burnt alive 
The attack continued throughout the Cantonment until the after- 
noon of the 9th when the Jat military arrived and controlled the 
situation It is estimated that about two thousand persons lost 
then: lives and about four hundred women were abducted Of 
these nearly half were restored subsequently 

The town of Abbottabad was subjected to a fierce attack on 
the mght between the 6th and 7th December 1947 Mahasha Shiv 
Ram, a member of the Provincial Legislative Assembly who was 
m the military camp, was murdered 

We shall conclude this chapter by giving a brief account of 
the gruesome tragedy enacted at Parachinar towards the end of 
January 1948 Parachinar is a Kurram Agency Headquarters 



272 


Stern Reckoning 


situated amongst the hills at a height of nearly six thousand feet 
The Grand Trunk Road connects it with Thai and Kohat and 
there whs a regular lorry service between Kobat and Parachinar 
The railway station for Parachinar is Thai. The population of 
Parachmar was about eleven thousand persons of whom nearly 
two thousand were non Muslims. Business and trade were almost 
entirely in the hands of Hindus and Sikhs who also owned a 
large area of agricultural land in the Kurram Agency For some 
months before the fightmg in Kashmir began arms were freely 
distributed among the Muslims who were asked to volunteer and 
join the raiders. On October 20 1947 a Muslim dead body was 
brought from Kashmir to a village five miles from Parachinar 
and given a public burial This infuriated the Muslims and they 
attacked the Hindus and Sikhs living in the village. The incident 
was regarded as a danger signal by the non Muslim residents of 
the neighbouring villages and they began to leave. The Assistant 
Political Agent however asked them to stay on, and gave them 
assurances of safety On October 26 1947 a Muslim mob sup- 
ported by the raDitia, made an attack on the Hindu quarter of 
Parachinar They burnt some houses and desecrated the Gurd 
ware. Conditions deteriorated and on November 4 1947 the 
non Muslims were asked to proceed to a camp near the Fort 
of Parachmar They were allowed to take only twenty two seers 
of personal luggage and some food. The camp was set up outside 
the walls of Parachinar Fort at a distance of about three 
miles from the town The arms and ammunition of the non 
Muslims who went to the camp were seized and taken away 

There were about fifteen hundred non Muslims in this camp 
but the arrangements for their food and drink were far from 
satisfactory They had to purchase their rations privately at 
exorbitant prices. The militia who were posted for their safety 
had to be bribed and the officials demanded heavy bribes for 
escorting them to a place of safety They agreed to evacuate them 
on promise of being paid Rs. 65,000 By the middle of November 
some more non Muslims had arrived In the camp from the neigh 
bounng villages and the total number rose to about two thousand. 
On December 5 1947 Sir George Cunningham the Provincial 
Governor paid a visit to the camp The refugees laid their dim 
cullies before him and asked for immediate evacuation from the 
camp The Governor however told them that he could make no 
arrangements for their transport and returned to Peshawar On 



North-West Honda Pt ounce 


273 


December 8. 1947, the Assistant Political Agent asked the refugees 
to go back to their houses and even had some of the tents pulled 
down in order to force them to leave the camp It was bitterly 
cold at the time and some women and children died of exposure 
The refugees, however did not leave the camp as life in the villages 
was fraught with the gravest danger A few days later the refugees 
were told that they would be forcibly ejected This state of affairs 
continued until January 20 1948, when the refugees heard that a 
Muslim mob was getting ready to attack the camp On the 
following day, telegrams were sent to the Political Agent and 
other persons for help On January 22, at about 11 am, some 
officers arrived and asked the refugees to get ready for removal 
to Arawali Camp The refugees packed up their things and 
waited till 4pm At that hour three lorries arrived to transport 
two thousand refugees No one was prepared to leave the camp 
m these circumstances, but the militia beat the refugees and 
arrested four of them on the ground that they were spreading dis- 
affection and dissuading the others from leaving the camp That 
evening the camp was attacked by a large Muslim mob armed 
with guns, spears, hatchets, etc The attack continued till 8-30 p m 
and the militia, numbering about five or six hundred, joined the 
attackers One hundred and thirty-eight Hindus and Sikhs were 
killed, one hundred and fifty more were injured and two hundred 
and twenty-three women were carried away The mob looted the 
entire property of the non-Muslims and some of them were seen 
searching the dead bodies 

When the news of this horrible massacre arrived m Delhi it 
was feared that communal noting might once again disturb the 
peace of the metropolis, but extensive police precautions and the 
counsel of the saner elements were successful in preserving an 
atmosphere of calm and tranquillity 




VII 



Tout lea hommea ae reatemblent rl fort Quil ny a point 
de peuple dont let tottitea ne nout doftnmt fair* trembler 

FoirrtHiaxr 


Cet animal ett tria michant 
Quand on Vattaque fl w d if end, 
Theodore 



CHAPTER SEVEN 


RETALIATION 

The events described in the preceding chapters could not but 
fail to arouse horror and indignation all ovei India, and more parti- 
cularly in the eastern districts of the Punjab, where the arrival of 
large numbers of non-Muslims from West Punjab furnished con- 
crete proof of the manner in which the plans and designs of the 
Muslim League were being executed The burning and killing 
■which took place in the towns of Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi 
.and m the rural areas of the districts of Rawalpindi, Multan and 
Jhelum, in the beginning of March, compelled thousands of Hmdu 
and Sikh residents to leave their homes and seek temporary or 
permanent shelter in the comparative security of the Muslim 
minority districts They related the tales of thur sufferings and, 
ns their anger mounted, they spoke of revenge and retaliation 
During the months that followed, the pressure was kept up by the 
recrudescence of trouble in Lahore and by the constant influx of 
refugees from all parts of West Punjab Hopes of a peaceful 
settlement and a satisfactory rapprochement receded with every 
fresh outbreak of communal frenzy Resentment grew with the 
arrival of every batch of bereaved and impoverished persons 
These people, bruised m their minds and bodies, deprived of their 
property and their means of livelihood, did not hesitate to exaggeraL 
the seventy of the blows inflicted upon them or the extent o t eir 
suffering They had been unable to hit back at their assa ants 
who heavily outnumbered them , but the desire for revenge 
Temamed and, towards the end of July, began to assume tie pro 
portions of a categorical imperative Stories began to e ear 
of small groups of Sikhs roaming the countryside in mntsar 
Distnct, and attacking a lonely Muslim or setting fire to a us ™ 
house Serious trouble broke out in the town of Amntsar, in 
beginning of August, and there was considerable loss o us 
life and property Lahore was once again ablaze, an t e ne ^ 
of the happenings m that town had serious repercussions in sev ^ r 
towns of East Punjab The intensity of the rioting in 
achieved a new record and began to spread to other ist ^ c 
division of the Punjab was given effect to on the mi mg e 
the 14th and 15th of August 1947, although the Award of the 



278 


Stem Reckoning 


Boundary Commission was not announced till two days later The 
terms of the Award caused a great deal of disappointment and 
frustration The Sikhs made no secret of the resentment they felt 
at losing their histone shrines and almost the entire rich colony 
area. They felt that the division of their community into two 
halves would result in the lowering of their political status in both 
parts of the Punjab The Muslims had also lost some areas m 
which they bad had a majority of population. The loss of Lahore 
and the consequent deprivation of a large number of cultural and 
educational institutions, of their property and wealth was keenly 
felt by the Hindus At the same time, partition brought a certain 
measure of relief, for the non Muslims in East Punjab felt that they 
had gained independence though at a temble cost. The feeling 
grew that Hindus and Sikhs could now retaliate with impunity and 
avenge some at least, of the wrongs suffered at the hands of the 
Muslims in West Punjab 

The new regime in East Punjab started functioning In circum 
stances which were extremely abnormal Not only did the new 
Government inherit a legacy of serious lawlessness and disorder 
from their predecessors but, for want of a suitable place to locate 
their headquarters they had to split up their administrative 
machinery into several ports in order to find accommodation for 
the various offices and staff The machinery for law and order 
which had worked under a great strain for several months was 
thrown completely out of gear by large scale desertions of Muslim 
policemen who predominated in the Force * The lack of ex peri 
enced and well-disciplined officers and hurried transfers and 
postings, even of senior officers deprived them of the benefit 
of local knowledge and to that extent, impaired their ability 
to deal with the difficult problems that faced them. Certain 
sections of people, who had been kept down by ruthless 
force by the previous administration took advantage of 
this situation and started trouble both in towns and villages. 
The cumulative effect of rt all was that the administration virtually 
broke down for about a week and there waj considerable chaos 
and lawlessness in a large part of the province. 


74 I per cm of a* rt*W»r TtBct Fore* I* th* *nhcd foalab w Wat** ud T14 
per cm of the Aitoio**! Mfc* ww WwJfa*. J the lUrtft, M of ■ IO<t4 «f 

1441 *er* Work**. la the JaSoad* fanje. ow of a total of JJM po«o* 
cmoMci 1,1 1* writ WikSm. la tbt Labor* Itm. there wm J40J Mrata coaraUn 
•f • tool of 7401 TW O ow iaai of Ea* ranjtb CWi fond thenurtm drpkted of txn 
Cfaa faH of the »*lbb4* FoBea Fort*. 




Retaliation 


279 


The Government and the leaders of all communities earned a 
great deal of criticism and odium at the hands of the public, 
during the first fortnight of the new regime This was especially 
so among the Sikhs because their leaders had encouraged fond 
hopes of getting them their Gurdwaras and a part of the colony 
lands An impression gamed ground that Sikh leadership had 
proved unequal to the occasion, and the leaders had co mmi tted 
blunders which had resulted in the community being nearly 
ruined The Congress leaders were accused of having brought 
this calamity on the non-Muslims of the Punjab by following a 
policy of appeasement towards Muslims and it was freely said 
that the intransigence of Mr Jinnah had not been dealt with 
firmly The Government were charged with inefficiency and 
tardiness m dealmg with the border incidents, the evacuation and 
rehabilitation of refugees East Punjab had no Press or other 
means of publicity to counteract this propaganda and this un- 
informed criticism held the field for a considerable time 

Following upon the disturbances in Amritsar, noting, arson 
and murder broke out m the distncts of Gurdaspur, Jullundur, 
Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Ferozepore The trouble soon spread 
to the rural areas and there were reports of attacks and counter- 
attacks, on a large scale, m almost all districts of the Jullundur Divi- 
sion It is impossible to make a correct estimate of the total number 
of persons killed but, it is feared, that several thousand persons lost 
their lives Muslim losses in these riots were naturally much 
heavier than non-Muslim losses, but the loss of Hindu property 
was considerable The news from West Punjab, where massacre 
and lootmg of non-Mushms on a large scale were taking place, 
continued to agitate the public mind The atrocity stones led to 
flare-ups in several places and the authonties had the greatest 
difficulty in bringing the situation under control As the refugees 
progressed eastward, communal trouble followed m their wa e 
By the end of August the atmosphere throughout East Punjab had 
become very tense, and it was realized that more trouble was m 
store 

The scale and extent of these nots had not been correctly 
foreseen and the arrangements made to deal with em prove 
inadequate The Punjab Boundary Force, which had een 
specially set up to deal with disputes in connection wi e 
marcation of the boundary, did useful work to start v.it , u 



280 


Stem Reckoning 


troops did not take Jong to become infected with communal ism 
and complaints of wanton and unprovoked excesses began coming 
in from several quarters- In answer to an insistent demand by 
the public, a decision to disband the Boundary Force was taken 
towards the end of August Economic factors added to the 
troubles of Government and to the discontent in East Punjab 
The food arrangements in rationed towns were thrown out of gear 
by the arrival of a very large number of refugees and at some 
places the position was precarious indeed even dangerous. Com 
plaints of shortages began to pour in from a number of districts 
and with the complete dislocation of transport, food stocks could 
not be moved easily from the surplus to the deflat areas. This 
state of affairs Jed m various places to the looting of Muslim 
property 

During the month of September communal incidents conti 
nued to occur in all parts of the province of East Punjab and 
rendered resumption of normal life difficult except perhaps in 
some towns where the exist of the Muslim population and its re 
placement by Hindu and Sikh refugees gave some semblance of 
restoration of normal conditions Border incidents were conti 
nuousI> reported in Ferozcpore and Amritsar Districts. There 
were several instances of Muslim League National Guards and the 
West Punjab Police trespassing into East Punjab territory and 
taking away cattle and other property Military vehicles were also 
alleged to have entered some districts with stocks of illicit arms 
for distribution among Muslims The main theatres of trouble 
during the first fortnight of September were the three districts of 
the Hartana Tract — Kama! Rohtak arvl Hissar Trouble on a 
lesser scale also occurred m some districts of the Jullundur Divi 
sion. Even Simla and Kangra Districts were affected and there 
were reports of sporadic cases of murder arson and looting. The 
vernacular Press added fuel to the fire of frenzy by giving highly 
coloured and unilateral accounts of the unfortunate happenings 
on both sides of the border We must also confess that there was 
a regrettable lack of honesty of purpose on the part of the police 
and certain other agencies in charge of the maintenance of law 
and order Thu was found especially marked In the Railway 
Police in Ambala and a number of their men had to be arrested 
A large number of arrests of policemen had to be made on 
charges of looting and murder in other districts alio This apathy 
of the police combined with their inadequacy made matters very 
difficult indeed People who had fullered at the hands of the 



Retaliation 


281 


Muslims in West Punjab anti they included non-Muslim police- 
men. found it difficult to rcstst or prevent the temptation of loot 
or to connive at damage to Muslim life and property 

Tovvatds the end of August, a camp for about six thousand 
Muslims was set up in Hansi district Hissar A sweeping attack 
on this camp was made by Jats. Raiputs. Sikhs and Bamas The 
attack lasted for several days and resulted m verv heavy loss of 
Muslim life 

Relations between the Muslims and the non-Muslims m the 
Ambala District had been siiamcd for many vears, particularly 
over the vexed question of cow-slaughter during hi In previous 
years firing had been resorted to. in order to control the situation 
Feeling in the Rupar .Sub-Division had been particularly bitter 
owing to the grant of .1 new licence for cow-slaughter, three years 
before the partition took place, in a Muslim village surrounded 
on all sides by Sikh villages of which many were in the territory of 
the Patiala State Fvcrv year military aid was called in to maintain 
peace m this village Ambala occupied a central position for the 
evacuation of Muslim and non-Muslim refugees by rail, road and air 
Non-Muslim refugees arrived in hundreds of thousands by trains 
and in thousands by planes for dispersal to the different districts 
of East Punjab The proximity of five States (Patiala, Bilaspur, 
Nalagarh, Sirmur and Kalsia) was another handicap for the 
Ambala authorities in maintaining order These States provided 
convenient spring-boards for marauders who launched their 
offensive and then quickly retreated before they could be appre- 
hended or dealt with A camp for about sixty thousand Muslims 
was set up at Kurah (Rupar Sub-Division) Severe noting broke 
out m several parts of Ambala District and the loss of Muslim 
life was heavy, particularly in the Rupar Sub-Division where it is 
estimated that between ten and twelve thousand Mushms lost their 
lives Some other parts of the district were also affected and the 
Muslim evacuee camp at Kalka was attacked by an armed mob 
who opened fire and threw some hand-grenades, killing ten and 
injunng fifty The assailants were driven off by the military 
guard But Ambala City and Cantonments remained almost free 
from trouble There was a large camp of nearly 180,000 Muslims 
near Ambala City and between thirty and forty thousand Mushms 
were living m their homes m the city of Ambala The total loss 
of Muslim life m Ambala City and Cantonments was less than 
one hundred, though there was a certain amount of looting of 
Muslim property even after the Muslims had been evacuated 
19 



282 


Stem Reckoning 


Belongings of Muslims had been collected m dumps at convenient 
centres for safe custody and much of this property was stolen and 
looted It must be recorded that the Muslim refugees spoke very 
highly of the police arrangements made for their safety at the 
District Headquarters. 

'Trouble started in Simla on September 9 Owing to bitter 
communal tension in the police ranks the Muslim police constables 
had to be disarmed No military assistance was available and 
arson and looting on a considerable scale broke out There were 
also several cases of stabbing The exploding of two bond 
grenades, in the Muslim refugee camp resulted m the death of 
thirteen Muslims and the wounding of fifteen others. It was 
reported that bands of Sikh marauders from Patiala were 
mainly responsible for the trouble in Sunk. The Bishop of Lahore 
who was at the time staying in Sunk, wrote Two days ago 
I buried an old friend of min e who died of cancer We had the 
greatest difficulty m getting her body to the cemetery as our bier 
bearers were all Muslims We got police escort in the end. On 
the way we came across one Muslim hacked to death on the 
way back two or three more — coolies carrying loads who had no 
chance of defending themselves.” 

There were several attacks on trams between Jullundur and 
Ludhiana and between Ludhiana and Rajpura. Sikh jar lias from 
Patiak were said to be responsible for these attacks The 
authorities at this time were dismayed to see that there was M very 
little evidence of willingness on the part of the Sikhs to cry a halt” 

It will be remembered that by this time the Sikhs had become 
special targets of Muslim fury m West Punjab A Sfkh was not 
safe anywhere and was killed at sight 

Scnous trouble broke out at Hoshiarpur towards the end 
of August The situation at Ludhiana showed no sign of 
improving. 

Delhi had been used as a base by the Muslim League and 
the police had received reports of underground activities on the 
part of the League National Guards An abortive attempt to create 
disorder in November 1946 faifed but Muslim preparations 
continued and there is abundant evidence to show that aim* were 
being secretly collected b> the Muslims. Riots broke out in Delhi 
in the beginning of September and for a fortnight beginning 
September 6 large-scale looting of propert) and stabbing in almost 



Retaliation 


283 


ali localities of the capital took place In these riots Muslims 
were found to be heavily armed They used automatic weapons, 
country-made cannons rifles, bombs, mortars and other missiles 
It was reported that Muslim ammunition dea'ers had lestricted the 
sale of ammunition to members of their own community and this 
sale was on a fairly liberal scale One Haji Obedullah played a 
prominent part in the riots in the area of Subzimandi and he was 
responsible for importing large quantities of weapons into Delhi 
The shops of Muslim blacksmiths and motor mechanics were con- 
verted into small arsenals where spears, mortars and crude muzzle- 
loading guns were manufactured After the riots, it was discovered 
that many Muslim localities had been provided with a vireless 
transmitter and receiving set and these instruments were used for 
exchanging messages between the various areas As many as 
thirteen wireless transmitters were recovered by the police A burnt 
Signal Corps Radio Transmitter was recovered from the r mams of 
the Dawn Press which had been set on fire In Subzimandi area a 
tunnel was discovered in which a large quantity of aims and 
ammunition had been stored Loss of Muslim life in the Delhi 
riots was considerable and, although the exact numbers cannot be 
determined, the police received reports of five hundred and seven 
Muslims killed and two hundred and ninety-seven injured It is 
almost certain that an equal number of killed and wounded v.as 
not reported to the police and the total casualties may, therefore, 
be placed at more than one thousand killed and an equal number 
injured As against this seventy-six Hindus were reported to have 
been killed and ninety-seven injured These figures, however, 
do not correctly indicate the provocation given by the 
Muslims The first incident occurred on August 21, 1947, when an 
explosion took place in Shahadara, m a house belonging to a Mus- 
lim student It was believed that the student was trying to prepare 
a bomb which exploded accidentally On August 25, four Muslim 
workers of the Birla Mills were killed during a scuffle between the 
Hindu and Muslim workers On the night of September 3, a bomb 
exploded m a Hindu locality m Qarol Bagh A rumour spread 
through the locality that the bomb had been thrown by a Muslim 
Whether this rumour was correct or false, it led to a sudden flare- 
up of communal frenzy and rioting began m the Qarol Bagh area 
A mob of rowdy Muslims was seen paradmg the streets and 
Dr Joshi, a resident of Qarol Bagh, went out to reason with them 
He was shot dead by Dr Qureshi who was in the mob This 



284 


Stem Reckoning 


mad cat had senoos repercussions in other parts of Delhi.* Rioting 
spread soon afterwards to Subzimandi Turkman Gate Paharganj 
Phatak Habash Khan and other parts of the aty 

The Delhi Police Force was sixty per cent Muslim and the 
Civil Authorities found it difficult to control the situation. There 
was constant firing by the Muslims in Paharganj Subzimandi and 
Turkman Gate The Khaksars confined in the District Jail 
attacked and killed a Hindu warder and the police had to open fire 
upon them In the Subzimandi area a veritable battle between 
the Muslims and the police lasted for a whole day The official 
account says u On September 8 at 7 am. a police patrol headed 
by a Sub-Inspector on duty in Subzimandi area heard sounds of 
firing. They proceeded to the scene of occurrence and saw the 
Muslims firing on Hindus of the locality The police party returned 
the fire but many of them were wounded including an Assistant 
Sub-Inspector who bad to be sent to hospital. As the police force 
available was inadequate military help was sought and a posse of 
military arrived at the spot with a Magistrate The Muslims 
opened fire on the military also and wounded several men. Another 
Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police was fatally shot by the Muslims. 
Hie Subzimandi Police Station was also fired at, and the battle 
continued dll 6 pun. when the Muslims surrendered and asked to 
be evacuated to a safe place.” 

Reports of these occurrences exacerbated the non Muslim 
feeling in the capital and large-scale looting and burning of Muslim 
property was reported from several quarters of the city There 
were also attacks on Muslim life and in the course of four days 
several hundred Muslims were murdered There was a great deal 
of disturbance in the rural areas surrounding the capital Muslim 
villages were attacked and set on fire and the residents were mur 
dered. In many instances the Muslims were found to be armed 
with firearms, but they were heavily outnumbered and quickly over 
powered. In some villages trouble was started by the Meo 
residents. Hindu villages were attacked and burnt down The 
Meos were ultimately driven out and many of them were wiped out 
in the neighbouring State of Alwar 


Dr OwrtoJ « trVd cm rturt of no nfcr ad uaikxd. a*d hit co*>fct!ow »u 
cm arpcaJ hr th* Ea« rwtitb in*h Cowl Ito « mbwomtbr trtarfrrrrd to 

pjlhox* to fomiKt <4 toe tmer- Dow to ioe urc u ue mi lor tor nctunj * trf *ri tomtn. At 
too* n ha irrirtd at Labor* W m* ttfcatcd *ocoodmoo*Dr Ikf Irttd at 

aad t Wro 


a patriot 



Retaliation 


285 


The police found several heaps of dead bodies, burning on both 
sides of the railway track near Badli Railway Station It transpired 
that two passenger trains had been attacked by an armed mob and 
Muslim passengers had been dragged out and mmdered Village 
Barwala was attacked by a mob of armed non-Muslims It was 
reported that about fifty houses were burnt down and three hundred 
and eighty-nine Muslims were murdered Police help was sent but 
the mob defied the police tiring and continued the massacre and 
depredation till a heavy contingent of armed police and military 
reserve reached the spot On September 4 a number of Hmdu 
labourers of the Delhi Cloth Mills, on their way home, killed every 
Muslim they met On September 7 and 8, the Muslim shops m 
Connaught Circus were looted and burnt down The police and 
military were ordered to shoot at sight, and the Prime Minister of 
India himself visited the spot at the risk of his life On September 
9, a number of wagons containing goods booked for Pakistan were 
standing in the station yard of the Delhi Mam Railway Station 
Four of these were set on fire and four more were looted Almost 
the entire Muslim population was forced to leave and seek refuge 
in a number of refugee camps set up by the Administration Nearly 
all of them have now returned to their original homes and are lead- 
ing a peaceful life Stray cases of assault continued until the 
end of September, when the situation was finally brought under 
control Besides a number of unlicensed guns, daggers and knives, 
one hundred and fifty-four bombs, forty-five mortars, one thousand 
nine hundred and fifty rounds of rifle ammunition, thirteen wireless 
transmitters, a number of hand-grenades, Sten gun cartridges and 
a quantity of chemicals were recovered by the police from Muslim 
houses 

Heavy rams in the province during the second half of Septem- 
ber caused widespread distress and loss of life and property The 
Sutlej, Beas and Ravi overflowed their banks and wiped out several 
villages The Hydro-electric Power Station at Jogindernagar was 
thrown out of order , and, besides stoppages m industrial and busi- 
ness undertakings, several towns were plunged into darkness for a 
period of nine days The floods interfered seriously with the means 
of communication The mam rail and road bridges on the Grand 
Trunk Road, seven miles south of Jullundur, were completely 
washed away Traffic between Hamira and Beas was held up for 
ten days as road and rail communications were breached The com- 
munications between Ferozepore and Qasubegu were interrupted 



286 


Stem Reckoning 


A road breach one and a half miles long was caused between 
Fazilka and Sulemanki The Chakki Bridge on the Gurdaspur 
Kangra Road was washed away The road between Julhmdur 
and Hoshiarpur was seriously breached five miles south of 
Hoshiarpur and the railway line was destroyed The Indian Army 
Sappers were rushed to the various affected parts and restored 
communications within a few days but m the meantime a great 
deal of damage both to life and property was caused. The heavy 
rains on the 24th and 25th added to the immense sufferings of the 
unfortunate refugees. Several hundred thousands of them had to 
stay on the roadside during these days without any cover The 
road between Beas and Kartarpur was completely inundated and 
a large number of refugees was washed away The countryside 
was strewn with dead bodies which floated down the river in spate. 
Because of the suddenness and extent of the calamity many 
villages and towns were isolated and very little could be achieved 
in the way of rescue operations. 

Two great tragedies were enacted during the last week of 
September One was an attack on a Muslim refugee tram 
at Amritsar on the evening of September 22. Men 
tion has been made of the non Muslim refugee tram from 
Pind Dadan Khan which was attacked at three different places,* 
When this train arrived at Amritsar the new* of the attack and the 
heavy Joss of non Muslim life spread through Amritsar and caused 
bitter resentment On the evening of September 22 a Muslim 
refugee train on its way to Lahore was held up and attacked. It 
is feared that the loss of Muslim life was very heavy Earlier the 
same day there had been an attack on a Muslim road convoy 
though the number of people killed was Jess than fifty The second 
great tragedy was an attack on a Muslim foot convoy in Fcrozc- 
pore a few days later The official report of this incident reads 
as follows 

“A large column strength not known but estimated approxi 
mately at ten thousand entered Ferozepore District from Kapur 
thala State over the railway bridge near Makhu. The column in 
eluded approximately three hundred persons who had previously 
migrated from Ferozepore District to Kapurthala State. 

U A Muslim named Mehdi persuaded the column to proceed 
to Lahore via Makhu and the Sutlej Bridge. He promised in 
return for some remuneration, to arrange military escort for 



Retaliation 


287 


the column from Makliu 1 he movement of the column was 
kept secret 

“ Mehdi had apparently arranged with some agents of his to 
leave the column and to ferry Ins own family across the Sutlej 
soon after entering Fero/epore District, and this he did The 
column traversed through Ferozeporc District without any escort 
and, on the way, was set upon by recently settled Sikh refugees 
from Pakistan The number of casualties suffered by the column 
is estimated at between live hundred and one thousand, killed or 
wounded In addition, a number of girls were abducted 

“ No information regarding the entry of the column into 
Ferozeporc District was received from the State authorities or 
from any other quarter The first time that the local Army autho- 
rities came to know about the presence of the column was when 
the head of the column appeared at the Sutlej Bridge near Feroze- 
porc City The police of Makliu and Malanwala Police Stations, 
through whose jurisdiction the column passed, failed to report 
the passage of the co umn through their areas to the authorities 
of the headquarters of the district If a report had been made, the 
headquarter authorities would have been able to arrange a suitable 
escort, and m all probability the attack would not have taken 
place or at least the number of casualties would have been much 
smaller 

“ On receipt of information, the Deputy Commissioner and the 
Superintendent of Police made immediate arrangements for the 
collection and safe passage of the travellers and also for the recov- 
ery of abducted women As a result of their efforts two hundred 
and fifty refugee stragglers were collected and transported safely to 
Kasur and over two hundred Muslim girls were recovered and sent 
to Pakistan 

“Severe action has been taken against the police for failure 
to report the arrival of the column m Ferozepore District The 
Station House Officers of Makhu and Malawala Police Stations 
have been withdrawn and placed under arrest ” 

The Muslim villages round the town of Rewan were 
subjected to heavy attacks and Muslim houses were burnt and 
looted Loss of life was not heavy as the inhabitants were 
evacuated to refugee camps In one village, however, nearly one 
thousand Muslims were reported to have been killed Large 
numbers of Meos left the distnet but later returned when conditions 
became normal 



288 


Stem Reckoning 


A mnnbcr of raiders assisted by the local Sangh people burnt 
down evacuated Muslim huts in Rewuri. Tbo damage however 
was not very great and the raiders were dispersed b> the military 
and six of them were arrested. 

In Tehsil So ne pat there were casualties at two places. Ghana ur 
and Akbarpur Barota. The loss of life was not considerable. The 
Muslims at Sonepat were attacked by a large mob who were driver 
off by tbe military 

In the end of September Master Tara Singh and Udham 
Singh Nagoke issued a statement calling upon the Sikhs to stop 
the murder of Muslims The appeal, however was not happily 
worded and came in for a great deal of criticism from the Pakistan 
Authorities. While pointing out that the Sikhs and Hindus had 
been “guilty of most shameful attacks upon women and children 
in tbe communal warfare and asking them to “stop all retaliation” 
the Sikh leaders said “ We do not desire friendship of the Muslims 
and we may never befriend them. We may have to fight again 
but wc shall fight a dean fight — man killing man This killing of 
women land children and those who seek asylum must cease 
at once. There should be no attacks on refugee trains, convoys 
and caravans. We ask you to do so chiefly in the interests of your 
own communities, reputations character and tradition than to save 
the Muslims.” An exhortation of this type was scarcely calculated 
to check the non Muslim frenzy in East Punjab. 

A Hindu Advocate who visited a number of place* in the 
JuBundur Division and the Patiala State, relating his observ 
ations, said 

“ While the happenings in West Punjab have been indescribably 
tragic and unimaginably barbarous the tragic happenings in East 
Punjab and Patiala State have not been less gruesome or less 
barbarous. Almost all Muslim men women and children whether 
urban or rural, have been either killed or turned out of their homes. 
There has been large scale looting and destruction of property left 
by them induding standing crops. A large number of Muslim girls 
has been forcibly married mostly to Sikhs. In certain villages 
Muslim population has been either wholly or mainly wiped out 
Nature and epidemics are doing what man has failed to do 

“From Ambala to Jullundur roadsides and other areas are 
stinking with foul and poisonous smell There is filth and dirt 
everywhere 



Retaliation 


289 


“What has happened in Patiala State is even worse The 
Muslim population of the State was about one-third which has 
been virtually either wiped out or expelled. It is in very few 
cases that the Muslims started trouble and in good many places 
they adopted, a submissive attitude I can say, on the strength 
of my personal testimony, that my own ancestral village, mostly 
inhabited by Muslim Rajputs, received the worst treatment, though 
there was no loss of life owing to the peaceful and voluntary with- 
drawal of more than two thousand Muslims All the valuable 
buildings of the Muslim Rajputs were wantonly destroyed and all 
the building material, including girders, was removed This des- 
truction and loot of all valuables, including a large quantity of 
foodgrams, by the neighbouring villages contmued for days All 
this was done mostly by the Sikh gangs aided by a few Hindus I 
went to Rajpura to contact the police and military officers and 
found two of them, of whom one was a Muslim, under the 
influence of liquor ” 

An observer who watched the progress of a column of Muslim 
refugees from the Kapurthala State, said, “ I saw a long column 
of Muslim men, women and children proceeding from Kapurthala 
to Jullundur The column was guarded by a few military sepo>s 
It was ten or twelve deep, the women and children walking m the 
centre, flanked on either side by men Groups of armed SiHis 
stood about in the fields on either side of the road Every now 
and again one of these groups would make a sudden sally at the 
column of Muslims, drag out two or three women and run away 
with them In the process they would kill or injure the Muslims 
who tried to resist them The military sepoys did not make a 
serious attempt to beat off these attacks By the time the column 
arrived at Jullunder almost all the women and young guls had 
been kidnapped m this manner ” 

Reports of happenings m Patiala were grossly exaggerated by 
the Pakistan officials, but there can be no doubt that there was 
heavy loss of Muslim life among the Patiala Muslims 

Exposure and starvation took a heavy toll of the Muslims 
proceeding to Pakistan by foot convoys It was reported that 
from a convoy of eighty thousand proceeding on its slow march 
to Amritsar and Lahore fifteen hundred Muslims died of exposure 
and starvation 

The disturbances m East Punjab resulted m the evacuation 
of almost the entire Muslim population to Pakistan The loss of 



290 


Stern Reckoning 


Muslim life was not less than the loss of non Muslim life in West 
Punjab Indeed there are many who boast that the total number 
of Muslims killed was more than the number of Hindus and 
Sikhs who perished m West Punjab though the latter suffered 
greater losses in property It is impossible to estimate even 
approximately the number of persons lolled What happened m 
West Punjab was re-enacted in East Punjab on an equally large 
scale and With equal ferocity The same barb an ties inhuman 
murders savage outrages atrocities against women and children 
were witnessed It must, however be remembered that the 
attacks on the Muslims were by way of retaliation and began only 
after several months of a determined and s us tamed effort to dnve 
the non Muslims out of West Punjab It was the tales brought 
by the sufferers from the West which set the East Punjab ablaze 
and no major incident happened m the eastern districts till the 
end of July The mass killing and looting really began after the 
partition of the country and continued for about six weeks till the 
end of September Those who took part in this holocaust were 
merely repeating the terrible lesson they had learnt from their 
Muslim preceptors in West Punjab A great deal has been said 
by the Pakistan Press about a Sikh plan to drive out the Muslims 
and take possession of their lands and houses A careful exami 
nation of the evidence however shows that no such plan was 
formulated up to the 15th of August 1947 The Hindu and Sikh 
leaders continued to appeal to the minorities in West Punjab to 
stay in their homes The uncompromising Master Tara Singh 
told the Associated Press of India on June 26 1947 that “ he was 
of the considered opinion that non Muslims of Western Punjab 
should continue to stay on in their home*.”* La la Avtar Narain 
of Jhclum member Constituent Assembly Pakistan issued a 
Press statement to the same effect and asked the mino- 
rities to become good citizens of Pakistan f At a Minority Con 
vention held at Rawalpindi on July 7 1947 Dewan Pmdi Das 
Sabharwal and Sardar Sant Singh exhorted the minorities not to 
leave their borne*. Mr Bhirascn Sachar Lalfl Avtar Narain Dr 
Lcbna Singh and Parbodh Chander M.L.A., participated in this 
Convention Go* warn! Gancsh Dutt also sent a message to this 
Convention Mr Mehr Chand Khanna Finance Minister North 
West Frontier Province exhorted the Hindus and Sikhs who had 


TrOmmt 19 IW7 


t ►> Bim U »T » 



Retaliation 


291 


migrated from the Frontier Province to return to then: hom< 
As late as August 10. 1947. Sardar Swaran Singh, m the course 
an appeal to the people of Lahore, said, “In spite of the divis 
of the country, all of us— Muslims. Hindus and Sikhs — have 
Inc together Let us therefore live in peace so that the poor i 
downtrodden may in the new freedom that wc have achieved, 
enough to cat and to co\ cr their naked bodies, leading tc 
happier and fuller life " i With the influx of large numbers 
refugees from West Punjab the conviction was borne in upon 
non-Muslims that it was impossible for them to live in Pakist 
They then launched large-scale attacks on Muslims by way 
retaliation It was only then that they realized that to drive 
the Muslims would furnish an easy solution of their econoi 
problems They felt that they could not trust the Muslims i 
their presence in East Punjab was greatly resented The exo< 
of Muslims provided them with the opportunity of securing h 
for the refugees from West Punjab and the drive became wi 
spread and relentless till almost the entire Muslim population \ 
evacuated 


* Vir Bharat Jul) 13 1947 
t Cltll and Military Gazette, August 12 1947 



vm 



1 do not endeavour either by triumphs of confutation 
or pleading t of antiquity or assumption of authority or 
even by the veil of obscurity to invest theta inventions of 
mine with any majesty I have not sought nor do I seek 
either to fores or ensnare men * judgments but 1 lead them 
to things themselves and the concordances of thlngi that 
they may see for themselves what they have what they can 
dispute what they can add and contribute to the common 
stock. 

Fra;tcib Ha cot — Preface to the Great Initauration 



CHAPTER EIGHT 


CONCLUSION 

Thj task of a writer of contemporary history is not an easy 
one rte finds it difficult to achieve objectivity because he has him- 
self played a role, however unimportant, in the unfo’ding of events 
There is a tendency, nay a temptation to seek an interpretation 
consistent only with his own personal prepossessions If he or any- 
one upon whom Ins affections arc centred has suffered in person or 
m property, the loss assumes undue proportions and the desire to 
castigate those responsible for it is correspondingly greater Then 
again, lie has been too near a spectator and his field of vision too 
large to enable him to view everything m its true perspective 
What happens in his neighbourhood or his own sphere of life, 
an incident (not perhaps of any great moment) which he sees with 
his own eyes, or hears narrated with the poignancy of freshness, 
may obscure a more significant occurrence in another part of the 
country It is only with the passage of time that the mind can, 
as it were, draw itself away from the panorama of history and 
assume a p’osition from which the various happenings of a critical 
period, their causes and their ultimate influences can be seen, m 
their true perspective Finally, the wealth of matenal available is 
a serious handicap, for it makes the business of selection difficult 
In the writing of history “ selection is not merely expedient, it is 
the essence ” of the historian’s work , he must pick out what is 
relevant from a vast quantity of evidence, before he can give an 
intelligible explanation of the events presented to the reader The 
process of selection is rendered more difficult by a realization of the 
fact that he does not know how his story will end He must 
nevertheless study all the available matenal and make up his mind 
before he begins to write A haphazard and colourless narrative 
intended to provide a purely objective account of what happened 
will not achieve the dignity of history, for it will fail to accomplish 
the real business of the historian which is “ to establish casual re- 
lations between events ” 

The writer of these pages has endeavoured to present a true 
and coherent account of the partition of India and what it cost 
the people of this great country m terms of life, property and 
mental suffering The questions he asked himself were many and 



296 


Stem Reckoning 


puzzling what were the real causes that Jed to the partition 
who was responsible for breaking up the integral unity of India 
was it necessary to concede the demand for Pakistan was ft not 
possible to avoid so much bloodshed and wholesale destruction 
of property can such things happen again and how can we guard 
against them? To some of these questions the reader will find 
a satisfactory answer while other? will provoke a controversy for 
everyone will answer them in his own way and so long, at least, 
as the wounds inflicted by partition are fresh opinion on many 
issues will differ There will be some who will accuse the Con 
grass leaders of pursuing a wholly unnecessary policy of appease 
ment towards Mr Jmnah and the Muslim League while others 
will hold the view that the majority of Congressmen were indiffer 
ent to the economic welfare and the politics] aspirations of the 
Muslims and made do attempt to remove their genuine grievances. 

That there arc and have always been differences between 
the beliefs, habits and outlook of the Muslims and the non Muslima 
cannot be denied but it is equally true that these differences were 
no more than an expression of individual personality such as may 
be observed in members of one family where the peculiar traits and 
features of one branch may be marked enough to distinguish it 
from another branch but do not give nsc to temperamental in 
compatibility or open hostility For over a thousand years Mus- 
lims and non Muslims had lived as neighbours and friends des 
pitc these differences, and it was not till the impact of British 
imperialism forced them to raise mental and moral defences 
around themselves that consciousness of their distinctive character 
was forced upon them. This consciousness was accentuated and 
exploited by the British rulers. Economic factors brought a sense 
of frustration to the Muslims, for the Hindus preferred and fav 
oured by the British rapidly achieved prosperity The pendulum 
of British attention than swung in the opposite direction and 
Muslims were urged to make demands for a subsidized existence, 
in economic and political spheres. These demands were no 
sooner made than conceded on an ever increasing scale till the 
population was divided into two hostile and warring camps. The 
Congress refusal to form coalition ministries in 1937 was a serious 
blunder and during the war years 1939-46 when the Congress 
had voluntarily gone into the wilderness, the Muslim League 
gamed power and cohesion. The demand for the partition of 
India was a logical corollary to the loyal and inspired address 



Conclusion 


297 


presented to Lord Minto in 1906 Power no doubt coirupts, but 
it is equally true that corruption seeks power and it was this 
desire for power that led Mr Jinnah to assume an uncompromis- 
ing attitude and say ‘no’ to every proposal which did not concede 
the first place to him Forty years of separate electorates and 
British favouritism had brought about a state of affairs from which 
it was impossible to escape except by dismembering the country 
and disrupting its integral unity 

The professed creed of the Muslim League, its avowedly 
communal composition, its frankly sectarian objectives and its 
espousal of unconstitutional methods led inevitably to a wide- 
spread conflict of arms We have seen how the tempo and \olume 
of the venomous propaganda earned on by the League swelled 
into an ever-increasing crescendo, till leaders like Sir Feroze Khan 
Noon threatened to repeat the orgies perpetrated by Halaku Khan 
and Changez Khan Violence as a means of securing political 
power began to be preached freely from the Muslim League 
platform and the Muslim Press made hysterical appeals for a mass 
rising against the Hindus A massive drive for the recruitment of 
Muslim League National Guards was launched , manufacture and 
collection of arms began on a large scale and the National Guards 
soon assumed the proportions of a private army, ready, at a 
moment’s notice, to open an assault on non-Muslim life and 
property These National Guards proved, after partition, to be 
the most ruthless enemies of the non-Muslims m Pakistan They 
defied the Civil Administration and carried on a relentless cam- 
paign of murder, loot and arson against unoffending non-Muslims 
even when the police and civil officers were anxious to restore 
normal conditions 

That League ideology and the line of conduct pursued by it 
were mainly and directly responsible for the horrible drama, 
narrated m these pages, is clearly demonstrated by the inexorable 
logic of chronology The speeches delivered at the Convention of 
the Muslim League legislators in April 1946, were an open incite- 
ment to violence On July 29, the Direct Action resolution frankly 
abjured peaceful and constitutional methods and, on August 16, 
the campaign of violence was opened at Calcutta under the com- 
mand and guidance of Mr Suhrawardy In October came the 
tragedy of Noakhali and Tippera Almost immediately afterwards 
retaliation followed m Bihar Then for some months there was 
20 



298 


Stem Reckoning 


a lull while a major operation in the North west was being 
planned With the not* of March 1947 began the genocide of 
the non Muslims- These disturbances were confined to the Muslim 
majority areas only and the victims were almost invariably Hmdus 
and Sikhs. In May and June there was another flare up m Lahore 
It was not till the end of July that reprisals began m the eastern 
districts and the mass killing of Muslims took place between 
August 15 and September 30 1947 when the arrival of large 
numbers of refugees from West Punjab and the tales told by them 
provoked the non Muslims to retaliate. They were joined by the 
newly arrived refugees and the gnm story of West Punjab was 
repeated in East Punjab and Defln 

It is not possible to make an accurate estimate of the total loss 
of life or the extent of damage to property caused by these riots. 
Figures computed on the population basis must, of necessity prove 
extremely misleading The census returns of 1941 were not 
accurate even at the time they were compled They became 
hopelessly wrong at the end of six years, when a general increase 
m population and local movements made it impossible to deter 
mine, with any degree of accuracy how many non Muslihis were 
living in West Punjab the North West Frontier Province and 
Sind. Nor is it possible to know the total number of Hindu and 
Sikh refugees who later arrived in India. Rough estimates of the 
total number of refugees prepared for purposes of rehabilitation 
and allotment to the various provinces, do not give a true picture 
and the total number of non Muslims killed or ■©averted cannot 
be calculated by subtracting the number of refugees in India 
from the number of non Muslims residing in the area which now 
comprises Pakistan for the simple reason that both numbers will 
be grossly inaccurate Figures based on the statements of refugee 
eye w Inesses are a surer guide though even these can at best be 
only approximate The Fact Finding Organization examined 
nearly fifteen thousand witnesses and they bear testimony to the 
murder of fifty thousand non Muslims. The incidents deposed to 
by these witnesses however represent only a fraction of the total 
devastation caused. Thousands of villages where riots are known 
to have taken place do not figure in the material collected by the 
Organization * and no account has been taken of incidents not 


On of ton I of 19414 Kira li Mrd Punjab c*fy 2.094 *re covered by tbe rrlicfr* 
coOcrtcd br th* F»ct nodm* On^nfcv. The Mora for the Nonk-W« rrowler m ar in e* 
W 242* uJ 5*2 rrevcMr »od for Xfn Ipcr 2J7* 214 rc*>erthcljr 



Conclusion 


299 


deposed to by eye-witnesses Taking these factors into consider- 
ation the loss of non-Muslim life has been estimated at a figure 
between 200,000 and 250,000 It is believed that an equal number of 
Muslims perished in the course of the riots in India The loss of 
non-Muslim property is estimated at about twenty thousand million 
rupees 

This was a heavy price and the memory of this painful and 
costly transaction will linger for years and continue to embitter 
and enrage the refugees Perhaps there are some who will take 
warning from this sad chapter in our history and endeavour to 
guard against a repetition of these events So long as sectarianism 
and narrow provincialism are allowed to poison the minds of 
the people, so long as there are ambitious men with corruption 
inside them, seeking power and position, so long will the people 
continue to be deluded and misled, as the Muslim masses were 
deluded and misled by the League leaders and so long will dis- 
cord and disruption continue to threaten our peace and integrity 




APPENDJX I 






304 




Appendix I 


305 


only be at the sacrifice of such candidate’s views to those of a majority opposed 
to his own community, whom he would in no way represent, and you justly 
claim -that your position should be estimated not merely on your numerical 
strength but in respect to the political importance of your community and the 
service it has rendered to the Empire I am entirely in accord with you I 
am as firmly convinced as I believe you to be, that any electoral representation 
m India would be doomed to mischievous failure which aimed at granting a 
personal enfranchisement, regardless of the beliefs and traditions of the communi- 
ties composing the population of this continent ” 

(iv) 

Louis Fischer wrote in the Hindustan Standard 

“ Winston Churchill remains the implacable enemy of India’s independence 
He has never disguised his views Many members of his party differ with him 
on the question of Indian Freedom, but Churchill’s imperialistic policy 
dominates 

“ Mohamed All Jinnah has not in recent years given any proof of a 
devotion to the cause of India’s liberation from foreign rule Nor has the 
Muslim League over which he presides Landlords, who bulk laige in the 
counsels of the League, stand to lose by the establishment of a new India, 
which would certainly alter the present land tenure to the disadvantage of 
landlords, Muslims as well as Hindus, and to the advantage of all peasants 

“ What could be more natural, therefore, than that Churchill and hnnah 
should have been in correspondence, in recent months, over the fate of India ? 
They have quietly exchanged letters and messages It was shortly after the 
receipt of one such secret communication from Churchill that the Muslim 
League reconsidered its acceptance of the British Cabinet Mission’s long-term 
proposals and decided instead to boycott the coming Assembly which is to 
draw up a constitution for a new free India 

“ The Cabinet Mission laboured hard and on the whole successfully to 
prepare the way for the transfer of political power from British to Indian hands 
Churchill and Jinnah are now attempting to undermine the effort ” 


Notes to Chaptei Two 
(i) 

Mr Jinnah’s love of pageantry grew as he came to be accepted as the 
sole leader of Muslims m India At the 30th session of the All-India Muslim 
League held m April 1943 at Delhi, the President, Mr Jinnah, was taken out 
m a huge procession led by a number of decorated elephants who were followed 
by camels and a squad of Muslim National Guards, on bicycles, displaying 
Muslim League flags Muslim National Guards on foot, playing bands and 
in military formation, followed next The processionists were raising slogans 
of “ Allah-o- Akbar” “ Qaid-i-Azam Zmdabad," “ Pakistan Zmdabad and 
Rulers of Islamic countries Zmdabad ” 

At the next session held, m December, at Karachi, Mr Jinnah was taken 
out with even greater pomp and show The procession was led by a rider on 
horseback carrying a huge League flag National Guards in uniform marched 
behind him like an army battalhon They numbered nearly two thousand 
and were drawn from all the provinces of India Then followed representatives 
of the Muslim students and various other Anjumhns There were more than 
htty Sindhi horsemen Then came a formation of camels with men in Sindhi 
dress riding them Then a number of camels with riders in Arab dress 
Physical cultunsts, students and boy scouts followed Then came 50 camel s 



306 


Stern Reckoning 


and 50 caparisoned horse*, all mounted by Hajis In Arab costume*. Shcrut* 
of “ Alhh-oAkbar ” Pakistan Zindabad " M Shahlnshak-i Pakistan Zlndabad ” 
“ Fastcft-i-Coxgrtss Zindabad " and “ QaldA Azam Zindabad " were raised on 
all ode* a* Mr Jianah * decorated carnage came into view 

(u) 

Mr Fualul Haq speaking on a no-confkJenco motion against tbe Ministry 
moved by Mr Dhirtnara Nath Datta m the Bengal Legislative Assembly on 
September 19 1946 aid — 

“ Str during tbc dark days or night* of the Great Killing, I watched event* 
from the point of view of a member of the Opposition The new* that came 
to me trick ling down from various source* was unfavourable to tbe Minuter* 
in power I was very deeply impresjed with the fact that during tbe whole of 
theac disturbance* the machinery of Government had completely broken 
down In thu dty Sir. I pondered deeply over the altuatJon and if I have 
risen to say a few word* on these motion* I wish to tell my comrade* In thl* 
Assembly what I feel very strongly and which I think ought to be raued before 
the people of Bengal if Bengal Is to be saved at all from utter extermination. 
There have been Hindu Muslim quarrels In th, past all over India. In many 
of these quarrel*, when case* had been started. I had tho privilege of defending 
the Muslim accused almost all over the country But Sir 1 have never In 
the whole course of my life seen anything like the purely fiendish fury with 
which both Hindus and Muslim* have murdered not merely men or women 
but even small children. I do not know to satisfy what Impulse— human or 
devilish — which seems to have p os se t i e d tho Bengalee* for those fateful day* 
and nights that my countrymen Indalged. 

** Sir to far as tbe Minister* are concerned. I am going to obey the Party 
mandate and I will cast my vote* against the motions before the Homo But 
that is only became I feel constitutionally that wo cannot when a motion like 
this is tabled leave the Ministers of our choice to the tender mercies of the 
Opposition. But if that is so as roanrd* the Minister*, the guardians of law and 
order who control the police force In Calcutta can dalm no protection from us. 

“ Sir I will not take much time of the House but I wtfl refer to a few 
instances which have been on eye-opener to me I have felt that the greatest 
disturbance* did not rise in a moment out of the moon but leero to be the 
result of a well-planned action— may be on one ride or may be on both rides. 

I do not know— God alone know*. Tbe future alone will disclose what is the 
truth. 

“Sir on Friday morning l received tek phone message* from vinous 
parts of the dty from both Hindus and Muslims that troubles had broken out. 

I thought It was one of those unfortunate affair* which have shown to the world 
that although the Bengalee* or Indian* generally are amongst the most Intellec 
tual race* of the world they do not know the virtue of toleration. But, then 
the situation worsened gradually I advised those who were telephoning to 
me to seek police protection. It was then I came to know that the polks were 
being appealed to and In some cases the police said that they had received no 
orders. Wonder of wonders ! What ore tbe poBcc here for what arc they 
being paid for If they do not know that whenever there Is a disturbance of 
the public peace and tranquillity their first duty b to jump into the situation 
if necessary and to defend public peace and tranquillity with their live* ? 

“ Then, Sir in the afternoon of that day the Maffick Barar was looted. 

It Is within about half a mile of my home [ was then standing on the verandah 
and I found people in treat glee and merriment rushing all sides with booty 
in their hands and police pabcwa^tdai accompanying them Everyone was 
very happy as if they were members of a marriage procession I 

“ Then. Sir that night tho Park Grcui market was looted 1 sent one 
of my nepbews and Mr Khalnil Artam Editor of the \fokanunacR to the 



Appendix I 


307 


Park Circus outpost Will the House be surprised to hear that the Officer-in- 
charge was there and he said that he had no time to go and see what was 
happening Certainly some change had come over the Calcutta Police ! 

“Then, Sir, the next day, I believe it was the 17th, the Mahisadal Raj 
House was looted That building is about 40 yards from my house and in 
front of that building on the other side of the road there was a Traffic Police 
Outpost where there are at least 100 police officers The House will be surprised 
to hear — and I am an eye-witness — that the whole of that house was ransacked 
It took two hours to clear that house of all its belongings and the police were 
looking on I sent one of my clerks to interfere and stop because the Raja was 
not m the house , he had left previously The reply my clerk got was ‘ those 
people are taking to whom the property belongs ’ and, Sir, people came out 
with all their booty and I received a report that a member of a certain Provincial 
Service went home with a silver tea tray as a part of the loot 

“ I am not here concerned with the details of this nauseating event I 
do not wish to discuss how these disturbances began, who was responsible, 
but I certainly want the House to consider why is it that the trouble was allowed 
to grow to gigantic proportions, and, within 24 hours, the entire situation was 
out of control Now, Sir, I have not been an eye-witness of everything that 
occurred but one who has suffered most I am not a young man with a stout 
heart but, Sir, I am supposed to have something like that sort of grit which 
can face unpleasant situation, but this-time my nerves completely broke down 
We could not sleep, batch after batch of ruffians knocked at our doors and 
every moment seemed to be our last It seemed. Sir, that not only had British 
rule ended but that some modem Nadir Shah had come upon Calcutta and had 
given up the city to rapine, plunder and pillage Sir, each time I tried to get 
into touch with police officers I was told that I was to contact the Control 
Room I do not know, Sir, who was controlling the Control Room, but 
whenever I wanted some kind of help the reply came that my complaint has 
been noted and will be attended to m proper time Then, Sir, I sometimes 
tried to get into touch with high officials of Government House I was told 
that none but Government servants were allowed to use the telephone to get 
into touch with the household of His Excellency the Governor Police officers 
would not listen, the Control Office would not control, the Government House 
would not listen, Sir, in these circumstances the Great Killing went on and it 
is undisputed that this thing would never have happened if the police and the 
military had taken strong measures on Friday, the 16th, when the trouble 
began It would have been nipped in the bud that very day, and, therefore, the 
conclusion is inevitable that although the police may not be responsible for the 
origin of disturbances, they are directly responsible for the great loss of human 
hie, and if an impartial enquiry is held and these police officers can be spotted, 
my opinion is that they deserve to be hanged, drawn and quartered publicly, 
on charges of murder and abetment of murder 

t / a stone’s throw of Lalbazar, the Scotland Yard of Calcutta, 

Umton Watch Company, at the junction of Bowbazar and Dalhousie Square, 
was tooted The whole ceremony of looting took about 2 or 2 \ hours Police 
oincers came but only to take part in the loot One of my friends who somc- 
now managed to see what was going on told me that half an hour after the 
oo people were seen rushing out with wrist watches and other articles of value 
and most of them were policemen ” 

Dhirendra Narayan Mukherji who had accompanied Mr Suhrawardy 
a tour of the affected areas, describing his experiences, said 

dll' burned towards the Bowbazar Street but could not proceed far, as 

me other crowd blocked the way I got down and tried to persuade them to 
of P-se There was an Assistant Commissioner of Police with a lorry-load 
th^ r 1Ce ^ en ’ some °f them armed with rifles, but they merely looked on As 
cro '\ d was in no mood to listen to him the Chief Minister decided to leave, 



308 


Stem Reckoning 


and while the car was turning bode, brickbats were thrown it It- The picture 
given by the Chief Minuter m the Upper Hcwse about the violent mood of the 
crowd has been too much ovcrcolourcd and had be stayed on, I am sure hu 
courage and rncerity would have been eventually appreciated even by a Hind a 
mob I stayed cm tried to pacify the crowd and was successful 

“ While there I learnt that tome tmslee at the comer of Bowbazar Street 
and Am hen t Street had been tet on fire. I nuhed there, and arranged to bring 
out the Fire Brigade by mmg a phooe from Baodhab Bmtralaya. The police 
were patrolling the streets but not helping to disperse the crowd or ttop the 
fire At the comer I was persuading a large crowd to disperse while doing so 
a police lorry came, and a European officer pointed a gun at me and fired a 
shot Immediately the whole crowd melted away It was tear gas, and I 
asked the officer why he fired without warning He said be wanted to disperse 
the crowd and I pointed out to him that as the crowd was already on the point 
of dispersing at my persuasion, the tear gas would only irritate them and might 
have resulted in a shower of brickbats, and retaliatory shots fired by sergeants. 
I complained that patrol police merely looked on, making no attempt to stop 
the fire The officer Mr Barnes a Deputy Commissioner of Police then 
left. The altercation with him gave me an advantage — the police must have 
thought me a person of Importance I managed to restore peace in the locality 
and at 1 o dock I was told there that rioting had broken out at Sealdah corner 
I hastened to the spot and found fighting going on between Hindus and Muslims 
inside Baithakhana Bazar I was successful In putting a stop to it Just as 
I came out on the Bowbazar Street I found a wine shop in the Circular Road 
Bowbazar comer abtazr and both Muslims and policemen In uniform busy 
taking away the bottles. Some of the bottles I found stored in the police 
lorry I caught hold of a policeman carrying away two bottle* from the shop 
and dragged him before the Police Sergeant, but no action was taken and the 
man ran away 

u I taw that a very big Muslim procession had come to the Sealdah corner 
from the Upper Circular Road side They were carrying swords, lalhU eta 
and wanted aggressively to pass through Bowbazar Street I moved towards 
them and suggested they might go to the maidarL by continuing through the 
Circular Road and DharamtaHa Street Instead of forcing their way through 
Bowbazar All of a sudden, some of them began to break open tbc shops on 
Circular Road and loot them Some rushed and surrounded me and began 
to beat me. One ycung Muslim apparently a student, gave me a blow dedanng 
he would break my teeth. Another brandished his Tong knife shouting that 
be was thirsty for my blood. Further mischief was prevented by some who 
must have appreciated my motives. Just then one or the Sergeants who had 
been with Mr Barnes rushed with two armed policemen into the crowd and 
brought me back to com para the safety Anyway the processionists changed 
their mind and passed on through Circular Road as 1 tad suggested. Instead 
of trying to force their way through Bowbazar Meanwhile another armed 
and a more violent crowd came up from Befiaghata side and wanted to force 
their way through Bowbazar Policemen, both ordinary and armed about 50 
in number were there in two lornes under the direction of Sergeants. 
I suggested to tbc Sergeants that the two lorries Tnlrht be placed blocking the 
entrance to Bowbazar Street and the police should fire to prevent the clash 
between the two crowds. The Sergeant* paid no heed. The Bellagbata 
crowd looted the aerated waters shop at the comer and began to hurt the 
bottles and rushed in to Bowbazar Street, and proceeded two to three hundred 
yard*. I could not prevent them forcing in, nor could I persuade them to 
cct back. Instead I got lathi blows on my arms. This crowd was prevented 
from passing through Bowbazar Street by a shower of brickbats. 

1 learnt that processionists passing through Circular Rood were rushing 
inside the lanes leading to west, and assaulting the local residents. I went 
round and saw at Dixon Lane one gentleman lying dead Id the street with 



Appendix l 


309 


his throat gashed, blood still spouting up He was a Hindu, who was coming 
through Circular Road, and had been chased by the goondas This was about 
a hundred yards from Circular Road ” 


(ui) 

Alec Reid, who paid a visit to Noakhah in February 1949, wrote as 
follows 

“ I have given, in a previous article, some idea of the great work being 
earned on in Noakhah by those who have devoted the past two years of their 
lives to the Gandhi Camps— men and women who have fearlessly succoured 
those who suffered as a result of the communal passions let loose in the district 
towards the end of 1946 

“ But there is another side to the picture and to appreciate it properly, 
let me first introduce you to Sah Sayed Gulam Sarwar Hussami, Pir of Daira- 
Shanff, Dhampur, Noakhah That is what "he calls himself, but for the sake 
of brevity let me simply refer to him as Gulam Sarwar by which name he has 
been most widely known in Bengal these past two years 

“ It was just after the great Calcutta Massacre that he first came into real 
prominence Noakhah was aflame with communal hate and stories trickled 
through to Calcutta connecting this man with the affair Then the military 
moved in and Mr Sarwar disappeared from the public eye, he was reported 
to have been locked up Came partition and, according to officials in Dacca, 
he was pardoned owing to ‘ insufficient evidence ’ and also the fact that ‘ no 
prosecution witnesses had come forward ’ How could they 9 — many must 
have been dead, others must have fled westwards or perhaps those that remained 
found it healthier not to proceed with their charges 

“ At any rate, Mr Sarwar is now as large as life m Noakhah District — 
and he is a man with a mission He does not like those people who run the 
Gandhi Camps and he thinks they should be closed He told me that himself 
when I met him in his home village one Sunday afternoon three weeks ago 
It all came about like this 

“ I had heard in Dacca that it had been reported that Sarwar was making 
inflammatory speeches According to a leading official, he had sent to Noakhah 
for a report (afterwards I asked the authorities there whether they had received 
that report, they said they had not) So I determined to see Sarwar and ask 
him what he felt about things in general 

“ Our meeting was arranged after some trouble in the school of his village 
I was told that the local thana had been suggested as a rendezvous, but appa- 
rently Mr Sarwar had raised some objection At any rate, I arrived at the 
appointed hour — 11-30 a m — and was received by one of the schoolmasters 
That something unusual was afoot had spread through the village, for a large 
crowd had gathered and the windows of the room where our meeting was to 
take place were lined with interested spectators who had taken up their positions 
early to avoid the rush 

“ We settled dowh to a cup of tea and the master informed me that a 
message had been sent to Sarwar’s house to inform him that I had armed 
Shortly after noon it was announced that he was having a bath and he would 
be along in a few minutes We waited I grew impatient, for I had far to 
Bo that afternoon Another emissary w r as sent and back came the rcpl> that 
he was more or less on his way The audience had increased Our room 
''as now invaded with interested spectators It w'as not every das that the 
big man received a Press representative 

'At the stroke of one there was a hush — within and without He was 
approaching Then through the windows came a chorus of salaams The door 
shot openand, in the flowing robes of a spiritual leader, stood Sarwar W ith an 
arrogant stare he surveyed the room his thick sensuous lips pouted as his 



310 


Stem Reckoning 


followers rose with one accord to ^reet him He looked me up arid down 
and with a flourish sat at the head of the table 

“Then there followed much formality He demanded paper and Ink 
declaring that everything mint be duly noted down The schoolmaster wna 
appointed scribe Interpreter master of ceremonies. Out interview lasted 
three hours, for not only did 1 interview Sarwar but he Insisted on interviewing 
me While the hunt for paper and ink went on ho sat back In his chair and 
surveyed me while I surveyed him I felt it would be appropriate If at a given 
signal somebody shouted Seconds out of the ring. 

An aged lieutenant sat on his left hand and on his right a gentleman in 
the garb of a Hindu. Where did he fit into the picture 1 pondered. I got 
the answer two and a half hoars later ho was the Tramp Card. The lieutenant 
seemed to be enjoying the situation. He sucked noisily through his teeth— I 
suspected they were false — and leered wickedly at some of his companions as 
much as to say We re in for a good afternoon s entertainment 

All was ready at last There was silence as I put my first question 
what was the feeling locally about refugees coming back to the district? The 
reply was prompt The feeling Is very hopeful and brotherly and akin to 
peace. The Muslims will receive the Hindu ladle* as their mothers and their 
sisters and their menfolk as their toothers. 

“ On went my questions and back came the replies with Sarwar careful 
not to commit himself in any way The scribe — at times almost overcome 
with his efforts — took copious notes while his pen screeched In protest Ten 
and fruit were ordered for it was thirsty work and as the afternoon wore on 
we consumed many cups 

“ The Interest, so far as tbe audience wore concerned never flagged there 
was for them never a dull moment But there was an awkward one all tho 
same Sarwar had proudly Informed me that be had over 20 000 followers 
and when I remarked on the frightful condition of the roads and suggested 
that he might use his influence and manpower to good account by having them 
repaired for (with an eye to the audience) I pointed out that the villagers and 
farm workers would In the end suffer untold hardships if their already slender 
lines of communication broke down altogether Mr Sarwar was annoyed. 
Some of his younger followers glanced at each other His chief lieutenant 
sucked Domly through hu teeth Tbe Trump Card winced The scribe 
scratched furiously at his minutes. Tbe feuhrer s face dooded He gave me 
a nasty look then snapped back that be was much too busy with other things 
to organize such a scheme 

After an hour I had finished my questioning. It was now his turn. 
We talked of many things. I was asked my views on the future of tbe two 
Dominions, the Internationa] situation on Linlithgow Wavcll and Mountbaften, 
on others who had played a part in the Indian scene Sarwar seemed quite a 
glutton for knowledge At any rate the audience were Interested and the 
schoolmaster wrote much more than he had for many a long day There was 
a pause I sensed that something out of the ordinary was coming the gathering 
had leaned forward with fresh interest. Sarwar had sat bock He glanced 
round the room pushed his arms outwards to their full length and stretched 
his fingers as if he were about to strangle some Imaginary foe This wasobvi 
ously tbe pi^ee d* resilience Then no broke the silence with the words— 
And now let me tell you about the Gandhi Camps. 

There followed a recitation of facts. Sarwar makes continual use of 
them In the meetings he addresses up and down the countryside The leaders 
of the Camps did not follow the ideals laid down by their founder Tbe Camps 
were filled with fifth columnists members of the R.S.S and Communists and 
their main object was to create disturbances to Interfere in the brotherly re la 
lions of Hindus and Muslims. They must be closed The Gandhi Camp 



Appendix I 


311 


workers wanted to control the Muslims of East Pakistan in every possible way 
by adopting a ‘ Nazi and Fascist policy 

“ When he had finished Sarwar turned to tlfe gentleman on his right 
It was then that I learned that lie was the Trump Card He was a Hindu, a 
man well known locally, and he would corroborate all that had been said 
And this unfortunate individual did so with great zest 1 learned afterwards 
that he acted as Sarwar’s chairman at his various meetings throughout the 
countryside it was alleged that lie had had a hand in ‘ planting ’ evidence 
used in some of the prosecutions that had been started against several Gandhi 
Camp workers It was the old, old technique The Nazis developed it to a 
fine art Repeat the same lies and abuse against your opponents over and 
over again and produce someone belonging to your adversaries’ community 
and make him say that you arc speaking the truth There was once a man 
called Quisling w'ho lived in Norway 

“ I stopped at a village the nc\t day Tw'o local Muslims said they wanted 
to have a word with me This is what they had to say 4 We have had a 
lot of trouble in this district We have had enough of it, we want to live in 
peace with the Hindus We have no quarrel with them we never really had 
But there are several in this district who go about making speeches which do 
no good Gulam Sarwar says he intends coming here We have sent a special 
request to the District Magistrate at Noakhah to stop him We don’t want 
him ’ 

“ My next interview was in Noakhah with the District Magistrate I 
told him of my visit to the Gandhi Camps and of the excellent work that was 
being done there A mild-mannered man, he listened with courteous atten- 
tion I told him of Sarwar’s allegations and when l asked him his views, he 
very guardedly and with much hesitation, admitted that the Camps were there 
for the common good 

“ We were joined by the Superintendent of Police, but what he had to 
say was without the slightest hesitation whatsoever I wanted to know what 
he thought about the Gandhi Camps Well, 1 would have it With hands 
that shook with emotion as he lit a cigarette, he went even further than Gulam 
Sarwar According to him, in the first place the coming of Gandhiji to Noakhah 
was just a 4 hoax ’ designed to draw attention to the communal disturbances 
there, which had been in seriousness 4 exaggerated beyond all proportion ’ 
Gandhiji had been hesitant to leave even when the Bihar riots started as he 
wanted to 4 divert attention ’ to East Bengal 

“ Then the police official got into his full stride on the question of the 
Camps themselves They were filled with Communists, members of the R S S , 
various types of fifth columnists who were 4 agents of the Government of 
Hindustan ’ Why were they supplied with so much money , he demanded 
Their chief job was to cause disaffection in the surrounding countryside T 
looked at the District Magistrate as this tirade continued He appeared to 
have forgotten his earlier conversation with me and now seemed m complete 
agreement with the representative of the police The latter thundered on 

“ As for the Gandhi Camp workers, he dealt with several of them 
individually and 4 scoundrel ’ was the least of the various epithets he applied 
to them while enumerating their various 4 crimes ’ But, according to him, 
they were an uncommonly wily crew Attempts had been made to intercept 
their mail to India, but they sent it by special couriers and they 4 disguised 
themselves as Muslims ’ while carrying communications between the various 
Camps, which were nothing less than 4 nests of intrigue ’ They said they were 
Joyal to the East Bengal Government — why then did they not fly the Pakistan 
■tag 9 He would see they did on next Independence Day But m the meantime 
the Camps must be closed The authorities could not tolerate the present 
state of affairs any longer As to when exactly they would be closed, he spoke 
of possible immediate 4 repercussions ’ in view of the various mter-Domimon 



3)2 


Stern Reckoning 


talks, but whatever happened they were determined that they wculd be dosed 
sooner or later And so be went on for over an hour 

What are the various'' crimes that several of the Gandhi Camp workers 
ore charged with ? Chief among the accused fa CoL Jhvan Sln$h formerly 
of tbe I N.A He was arrested some months ago on a fantastic charge of 
abducting a Hindu woman fox immoral purposes. He was interned in Nook hall 
while I was there and had to report twice a day to the thana When Gandhlji 
was In Bengal CoL Jhvan Singh became one of his most devout followers. 
Gandhlji personally pot him In charge of several of the Camps. He faced 
with bravery the dangers of carrying on tbe work. He is a man of tbe highest 
integrity To say that tbe charge against him fa fantastic Is putting It mndiy 
After several farcical hearings it wus found that there was not sufficient evidence 
against him and so the authorities were willing to stop tbe proceedings (but 
at the same time not clear his name) if tbe Coiooel left East Ben gal. He refused. 

“ Two other Camp workers have been implicated In a charge of murder 
One a trusted follower of Gandhlji, was marched many miles by road hand- 
cuffed. Other charges are pending against several more men of the same 
calibre. 

“ Thus tho campaign of repression goes on. The authorities seem deter 
mined to frame as many of tbe Camp workers as they cun. Beyond doubt 
their aim is gradually to freeze the Camps out of existence by such diabolical 
methods. What price justice in Noakhali District? 

M What Is the purpose of this campaign against tbe Gandhi Cam pa? 
Dacca has been kept fully Informed of their work and the authorities there 
know of tbe repressive measures being used against them Why fa it that 
they do not silence Gulam Sarwar7 There was once a Superintendent of 
Police In Noakhall who was sympathetic towards the Camps— why wo* he 
transferred? These questions require an answer 

** Is it that tbe authorities In East Bengal do not want a meeting ground 
for both communities? It it that they do not wish a Hindu minority oocc 
more to arise and take its place in the working of tbe State? Is this the prelude 
to the founding of a true Islamic State? 

M Already certain members of tbe East Bengal Government have visited 
tbe Comps and expressed themselves satisfied as to there bona fhies But 
they have done not King on their return to Dacca. Perhaps tbe tune fa now 
ripe in the interests of inter Dominion peace, for a commission of inquiry to 
bo sent from Karachi If property conducted it will find that the Camps arc 
not nests of intrigue but starting points for communal peace ” 

— “The Mission of Gulam Sarwar What 
price justice in East Bengal? 

The Hindustan Tints, March 22, 1949 
^ (By courtesy of The Hindustan Times ) 


Notes to Chapter Three 
(I) 

Tbe Sikandar Jinnah Pact drawn up at Lucknow October 15 1937 

(1) That on bfa return to the Punjab Sir Sikandar Hayat will convene a 
special meeting of hfa Party and advise all Muslim members of his party who 
are not members of tbe Muslim League already to sign its creed and join it 
As such they will be subject to the rules and regulations of the Central and 
Provincial Boards of tbe AB-Ipdia Muslim League This will not a fleet the 
continuance of the present coalition and of the Unionist Party 

(2) That in future elections and by-elections for the Legislature after the 
adoption of this arrangement the Groups constituting the present Unionist 
Party will jointly support the candidates put up by their respect he Groups 



Appendix I 


313 


(3) That the Muslim members of the Legislature who arc elected on or 
accept the League ticket will constitute the Muslim League Party within the 
Legislature It shall be open to the Muslim League Party so formed to main- 
tain or enter into coalition or alliance with any other party consistently with 
the fundamental principles, policy and programme of the League Such 
alliances may be evolved upon after the elections The existing combinations 
shall maintain its present name “ The Unionist Party ” 

00 

Printed and cyclostyled copies of the following circular were secretly 
distributed among the Muslims of India 

(1) All Muslims of India should die for Pakistan 

(2) With Pakistan established whole of India should be conquered 

(3) All people of India should be converted to Islam 

(4) All Muslim kingdoms should jom hands with the Anglo-American 

exploitation of the whole world 

(5) One Muslim should get the right of five Hindus, l e , each Muslim is 

equal to five Hindus 

(6) Until Pakistan and Indian Empire is established, the following steps 

should be taken — 

(a) All factories and shops owned by Hindus should be burnt, des- 
troyed, looted and loot should be given to League Office 

(b) All Muslim Leaguers should carry weapons in defiance of order 

(c) All nationalist Muslims if they do not join League must be killed 
by secret Gestapo 

(d) Hindus should be murdered gradually and their population 
should be reduced 

{e) All temples should be destroyed 

(/) Muslim League sines m every village and district of India 

(g) Congress Leaders should be murdered, one in one month -by 
secret method 

(/j) Congress upper offices should be destroyed by secret Muslim 
Gestapo, single person doing the job 

(i) Karachi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Goa, Vizagapatam should 
be paralysed by December 1946 by Muslim League volunteers 

(j) Muslim should never be allowed to work under Hindus in Army, 
Navy, Government services or private firms 

0 k ) Muslim should sabotage whole of India and Congress Govern- 
ment for the final invasion of India by Muslims 

(/) Financial resources are given by Muslim League Invasion of 
India by Nizam communist, few Europeans, Khoja by Bhopal, 
few Anglo-Indians, few Parsis, few Christians, Punjab, Sind and 
Bengal will be places of manufacture of all arms, weapons for 
Muslim Leaguers invasion and establishing of Muslim Empire 
of India 

(m) All arms, weapons should be distributed to Bombay, Calcutta, 
Delhi, Madras, Bangalore, Lahore, Karachi, branches of Muslim 
League 

(«) All sections of Muslim League should carry minimum equipment 
of weapons, at least pocket knife at all times to destroy Hindus 
and drive all Hindus out of India 


21 



314 


Stem Reckoning 


(o) AD trim port should bo used for battle i gainst Hindu*. 

(p) Hindu women and girls should be raped kidnapped and converted 
into Modi ms from October 18 1946 

(fl) Hindu culture should be destroyed. 

(r) AH Leaguer* should try to be cruel at all time* to Hindu* and 
boycott them kocLally economically and in many other way*. 

(s) No Muslim should buy from Hindu dealer*. All Hindu produced 
Sims should be boycotted. AH Muslim Leagoer* ahould obey 
these instructions and bring into action by September 15 1946. 

(Hi) 

No 2. 

Govwnmekt House, Lahore, 
5/A September 1947 

Dear Mil Jenkah, 

Many thank* for your letter of 26th August, which arrived Just after roa 
left on Monday I will certainly write to you more often than once a fortnight 
to keep you in touch with the situation hoe I will also as you asked me to, 
write quite frankly 

The law and order position hero has improved very definitely but there 
ai'e still great dangrrv I got a telephone message from the Commissioner 
Multan last night that Muzaffargarh was giving trouble, and Dcra Ghazi Khan 
l* still disturbed. I think that the raiders took a pretty severe knock. There 
was serious trouble In Jhang, duo partly at least I think, to the Incapacity and 
low morale of the Deputy Commissioner but it *eemi to be miJet now I 
am apprehensive about Lynllpur In the neat two days I am visiting Multan 
Lyallpur and Jhang. I had hoped to go to Dera Ghazi Khan, but cannot 
ret a light aeroplane, which is the only way of getting there quickly So I 
have asked the Deputy Commissioner to meet me In Multan and bring the 
Nawab Leghari with him if be can. I expect trouble In all the Western districts. 
The refugee problem is assuming gigantic proportion*. The only limit that I 
can-see to it Is that set by the Census reports. According to reports the move- 
ment across the border runs Into a lakh or to a dry At Chuharkana fn the 
Shdkhupura District I taw between a lakh and a lakh and a half of Sikhs 
collected in the town and round It, In the house*, on the roofs and everywhere. 

It was exactly Uke the Magh Mela In Allahabad. It will take 45 train* to 
move them even at 4 000 people per train or, if they are to stay there, they 
will have to be given 50 tons of a/a a day At Govindgarh In the same district 
there was a collection of 30 000 or 40,000 Mnzhbi Sikhs with arms. They 
refused even to talk to the Deputy Commissioner an Anglo-Indian, who 
advanced with a flag of truce. They shot at him and missed. Finally arrange- 
ment* were made to evacuate the lot I *m telling every one that I don t care 
how the Sikhs get across the border the great thing h to get rid of them as 
soon as possible. There Is still Utile sign of 3 fakh Sikhs In Lyallpur moving, 
but in tlw end they too will hare to go 

The most serious recent development is the very rapid deterioration In 
the reliability of the Array Yesterday Pa duns in a Frontier Force Rifle 
battalion in Gujranwala seized their arms and established a road block on the 
main road and their officer* could do nothing with them Brigadier McDonald 
who belongs to the regiment and can talk Pushto was sent out this morning 
and the situation is now under control. I do not know quite what the mutiny 
was about I Imagine that the real trouble was tint the Commanding Officer 
Is a banla and the Second In Command a Sikh I Ail the Hindus and Sikhs 
of the Battalion ore being lent today across the border The Muslims will, 
as soon as possible be tent to Jhcium Anyhow this and other incidents— 



Appendix I 


315 


] understand that things arc worse in this respect in N W F Province — have 
convinced the Military that their own non-Muslim troops are number one 
priority for evacuees And yet a proposal was seriously put forward that 
the Military' should take over our police 

I am getting very doubtful — and so is the General — whether the plan 
of protecting evacuee camps by troops of their own nationality will work in 
practice But we will have to try it and keep the two armies absolutely apart 
I think that we could secure the safety of non-Muslim camps on our side, but 
I doubt very much whether any Muslim camps in the East would be safe with 
a Sikh guard Sc we will have to do our best to work the scheme on our side 
in order to keep it going on the other 

From various sources 1 hear that the political situation is deteriorating 
Yesterday there was a minor refugee demonstration with shouts of “ Pakistan 
Murdabad ’ — I am told that Shaukat is afraid to show his face m the Muslim 
Refugee Camp here I warned my Ministry about a week ago that this sort 
of thing was inevitable, that when things go wrong on a large scale it is always 
the Government that gets the blame At first they were inclined to attribute 
any unpopularity they may have sensed to the machinations of Firoz, Khaksars, 
etc This was mere self-delusion and very* dangerous This feeling of resent- 
ment against things in general and against the Government in particular is 
bound to grow The ways in which, as far as I can sec, it can be countered 
arc (a) propaganda reiterating what Government is doing for the refugees and 
( b ) an efficient administration 

Efficiency with my present staff is out of the question We have -one 
Financial Commissioner, instead of a normal two or three, and our present 
one, Akhtar Hussain, though loyal and a good technical revenue officer, is 
certainly not capable of doing two men’s work Out of three Commissioners 
of Divisions we have only one, and he is from all accounts, hardly up to the 
job Out of five D I Gs Police we have only three and two are recently joined 
outsiders, one from U P and one from C P Finally to crown all, we have no 
Chief Secretary — the Finance Secretary, a mediocre officer, is supposed to be 
doing both jobs In all these matters the Ministry had to adopt the attitude of 
the ostrich 

They have got a “ new scheme ” by which no Chief Secretary is required 
a senior departmental Secretary to Government apparently is called Chief 
Secretary and draws the pay The shortage of Commissioners is to be met 
partially by abolishing the post of Commissioner of Lahore 

I have not yet troubled them on the subject of the Chief Secretaryship 
but on the general question of staff and, incidentally, that of the Commissioner- 
ship of the Lahore Division I called in Liaquat and Mohammad Ah and 
had a joint meeting with them and my Ministers Largely by Liaquat’s help 
I got the Mimsters to agree to our trying to get back a number of ex-Puxyab 
and ex-U P British ICS officers and to the retention of the Lahore Division 
Shaukat was a bit difficult, I don’t quite know why 

We had, from our point of view, a successful meeting with Nehru, Patel 
and company on Wednesday Your Mimsters and we had the day before 
drawn up a paper on refugee policy, which went through after about four 
hours rather desultory talk with only drafting amendments The mam fight 
was over certain proposals of East Punjab by which their troops or officers 
would be allowed to enter West Punjab on various pretexts Finally, I had it 
conveyed to Nehru that the conference Would break down unless they gave 
way, which they did I enclose a copy of the final paper for your Excellency’s 
information 

Patel kept silence for the first three hours and then said that we were all 
wasting otir time, and delivered a lecture on how things should have been done 
months ago According to Liaquat the mistakes which he claimed had been 



316 


Stem Reckoning 


made were largely doc to bis own attitude m the Partition Council- He was 
really getting at bthni, who tat with closed eyes, half asleep After the meeting 
when my A_D C was waiting to show TrrvedJ and Patel into their car be heard 
the following conversation 

“ Trl<rfdi Pandftp looks quite done up 
Pate! So he deserves to be flying all over the country and making fool* 
of us alL~ 

I hope that we have now teen an end of the visits to this province of Nehru 
and hu fellow politicians. By his hectoring manner be did considerable damag e 
to the morale of the District Administration of Sheikh up ora Besides, he 
brings newspaper men like Purga Das with him I hop© that it will be possible 
to prevent further visits to Lahore 

This all sounds very gloomy but we are all In quite good heart. Mots 
and Amin-ud Dm are pillars of strength. If we can get some of our old officers 
back, the whole situation wffl change. 

I do not know whether I have addrcaaed you in this letter as you wish to 
be addressed. If not, will you please let me know? 


Yours sincerely 
(Sd.) Franco Mudo. 


His Excellency Qaid-i Azam Mohammad All Jlnnah, 
Governor General of Pakistan 
Karachi 


Note to Chapter Five 

The letter of Khan Bahadur Allah Bux to the Viceroy renouncing his 
titles 

“ I have decided to renounce both the honours (KJ) and O B.E.) I hold 
from the British Government, as I feel I cannot, consistently with my views 
and convictions, retrain them any longer India has been struggling for her 
national freedom for a long time past Up<xi the outbreak or the- present 
war it was hoped that, under the very principles and ideology In defence of 
which the Allies were waging a titanic conflict, India would be made free to 
participate in the world struggle as a free country Convinced at I am that 
India has every right to be free and that the people of India should haw condi- 
tions In which they could live in peace and harmony tho declaration and action 
of tho British Government have made it clear that, instead of giving co-operation 
to various Indian parties artd communities In settling their differences and 
parting with power to the people of the land and allowing them to live happily 
In freedom and mould the destinies of th ei r country according to their birth- 
right, the policy of the British Government has been to continue their Imperialis- 
tic hold on India and persist in keeping her under subjection use political and 
communal differences for propaganda purposes and crush the national forces 
to serve their own imperialistic alroi and Intentions. The latest speech delivered 
by Mr Winston Churchill in the House of Commons has caused the greatest 
disappointment to all men of goodwill who wish to sec Justice rendered to 
India— which Is long due to her As that hapless pronouncement withholds 



Appendix 1 


317 


such justice from India and adds to the volume of evidence that Britain has no 
desire to give up her imperialistic hold on India, I feel I cannot retain the 
honours I hold from the British Government which, m the circumstances that 
have arisen, I cannot but regard as tokens of British imperialism ” 


Note to Chaptei Six 

That is what Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan says in “ Gold and Guns on 
the Pathan Frontier ” “ The first to go were the Honorary Magistrates 

Their powers were henceforth to be exercised by the regular Courts These 
old-fashioned gentlemen were mostly corrupt, some were illiterate, almost 
all were ignorant of the first principles of Criminal Law Powers had been 
conferred on such people because they acted as the intermediaries through 
whom the Bntish hoped to control the masses The Zaildars who were 
placed over the headmen of a number of villages were mostly corrupt They 
were often employed by the police for cooking up false cases and also some- 
times as intermediaries for collecting bribes for dishonest officials They too 
shared the fate of the Honorary Magistrates Then there were the Muafidars 
(Muafi is the cash remission of land revenue granted to a person ) who were 
no better than parasites The Muafidars were mamly Government informers, 
unpatriotic men always anxious to create trouble for those who believed m 
freedom The Zaildars, the Honorary Magistrates and the Muafidars 
soon became the champions of Islam and with the cry of ‘ Islam in danger ’ 
were the Frontier’s first recruits to the Muslim League, of wluch, m this province, 
they still formed the backbone This class saw an admirable opportunity 
in the Muslim League, where, while posing as champions of Islam, they could 
protect their own vested interests and settle old scores against the progressive 
forces ” 




PPENDIX II 



APPENDIX II 

TABLES AND STATEMENTS 


320 


Stern Reckoning 




Appendix II 


321 


-a -a 
3 K 

138 


m ov 
cm cm 


O Tt Tj" 


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322 


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1J 

bog 
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8 ISI’I "IS llg IS Ig 

Number 

of 

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3 

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4 

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3 

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100 

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5 

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SL 

No 

s a aa aa -™" •»*"*’ '•■'s = 



Appendix II 


323 


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324 


Stem Reckoning 





324 


Stem Reckoning 





326 


Stem Reckoning 


Number 

of 

kidnapped 

or 

abducted 

8 § 8 g IS IS | 112 2 1 1" II 

Number 

of 

| 

■i £ 

S 1 1 | 1* IS 1 1 18 1 1 1 1 If 

— td — 

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il 

8 2 

£ ® 

l 

R g M II II 1 III II 1 1 22 

I 

R § 8 g | '"S 251 •*»-« 

Nature of hidden t 

TTi 4 1 onr^r'i 

1 1 1 1 ? H . ? 115 1 1 

1 1 § 1 4 | 1 1 § jg* § I 

E~E 2 E^E^SC ESS 2S^ EE EE 

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of ! 

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S S 2 3 EE 88 5 SS5 SS SS 88 




DISTRICT GUJ1 


328 


Stem Reckoning 


H 

i - 

or 

abducted 

5 

5 

20 

1 

Number 

c 

8 

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}tjh 1 1 1 list! ij 


— ri n t n «r* «o es o — n «“i 



Appendix II 


329 


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22 


■Exact figures not available - M L N G —Muslim League National Guards 



33G 


Stem Reckoning 


Number 

of 

kidnapped 

or 

abducted 

IS 8 1 ^ 1- 1- 1 1 1 “ “ 1 1 

2 

!° 

| 

< 

a i a * § i: a- ps 8 | s | s 

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Nature of Incident 

iij t i 

! ll! 1 * 1 fl ill ! 51 

l! 1 4 ii h M All 

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lb! 

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< < 

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M 2 1 J c § | 

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If III ll ll dill 1 1 

"z 

a? p “ s ?5 35 33 5 t; ? ? R 



Appendix II 


331 


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332 


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ij 
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1 II 1 8 12 18 1111111’- II 1 

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j ii 1 1 ii !4 ,i i 

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2 22 2 £ 222 S SPJfJSaSRSa ss s 



Appendix II 


333 


O 

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E F N A — Exact figures not available M L.N G — Muslim League National Guards 



334 


Stem Reckoning 


Number 

of 

kidnapped 

Of 

abducted 

S III 18” ||S” 1 IIS''! 

Number 

of 

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i in i ?ii uj a s I is 1 1 

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Appendix II 


335 


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E F N.A. —Exact figures not available M L N G — Muslim League National Guards 



DISTRICT SHAH PORE 


336 


Stern Reckoning 


Number 

of 

kidnapped 

or 

abducted 

4 

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of 

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"Nn'fo'Or- oo o. o— m n'r «'ot' » 



Appendix JI 


337 



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DISTRICT J1IANG 


338 


Simt Reckoning 




Appendix II 


339 


< 

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340 


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Appendix II 


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Appendix 11 


343 


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344 


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Appendix II 


345 


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ag | a a - M " ■» s = 


12 I BmU Malian* Do 7 Murder loo< and 






Appendix II 




347 

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BAHAWALPUR STATE 


348 


Stern Reckoning 




Appendix II 


349 


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BIBLIOGRAPHY 


Ambedkar, B R 
Bern Prasad 
Durrani, F K Khan 
Gandhi, M K 

it >t 

Gauba, K L 
Haq, Ch Afzal 
Hussain, Azim 
Jmnah, M A 


Kabir, Hamayun 
Kailash Chandra 
Mukhcrji, S 

M R T . 

Naik, V N 
Nanda, J 
Nehru, J L 

»> tl 

Noman, Mohammad 
Prasad, Rajendra 
Smith, W C 

99 

Tahilramam, Parsram V 
Vairanapillai, Dr Samuel 
Ziaul Islam 


Thoughts on Pakistan 

India's Hindu Muslim Questions 

The Meaning of Pakistan 

Storv of my Experiments with Truth 

To the Protagonists of Pakistan 
(Gandhi Senes) 

Inside Pakistan 

Pakistan and Untouchabdity 

Fazl-i-Husatn 

Some Recent Speeches and Writings oj 
Mr Jmnah — Edited by Jamil-ud-Din 
Ahmad 

Muslim Politics (1906-1942) 

The Tragedy of Jinnali 

Communahsm in Muslim Politics and 
Troubles ovei India 

Muslim India (Home Studies Circle) 

Mr Jmnah (/4 Political Study ) 

Punjab Uprooted 

Autobiography 

The Discovery of India 

Muslim India 

India Divided 

Modem Islam m India 

Muslim League 

Why the Exodus from Sind 

Are We Two Nations 

Side Lights on Muslim Politics